Aluminum Can Industry Collects Over 3 Million Cans, Raises Nearly $75,000 for Local Chairities

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Rexam, Ball Win Top Three Spots in Intra-Industry Recycling Contest

Our contest provides an opportunity for can manufacturers and their employees to give something back—not only to the environment, but to their local communities,” said Robert Budway, president of CMI.

As the nation celebrated America Recycles Day, the aluminum beverage can industry announced it had collected and recycled more than 3 million cans and raised nearly $75,000 for local charities across the country, the Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI) announced today.

The Rexam manufacturing plant in Elk Grove Village, Ill., won first place in the annual industry competition, with 614,261 cans collected and recycled. Second and third place went to two Ball Corporation plants in the Midwest—Findlay, Ohio took second, and Monticello, Ind., finished third. Findlay and Monticello collected approximately 723,360 cans, and 249,249 cans, respectively. Winners are selected from the highest per-capita collection rates based on the number of pounds of aluminum collected per plant employee.

“We are proud to join our industry in setting a positive example in our local communities, showing that the aluminum beverage can is indeed the answer for sustainability and environmental superiority,” said Andre Balbi, president and CEO, Rexam Beverage Can Americas.

“Recycling aluminum beverage cans saves energy, reduces the need for new materials and accounts for most of the value in the packaging recycling chain,” said Michael L. Hranicka, president of Ball’s metal beverage packaging division, Americas. “Through the Great American Can Roundup can makers partnered with local organizations to recycle cans and invest the money raised back into our communities—a win-win for everyone involved.”

The Great American Can Roundup Industry Challenge lasted 108 days and involved 68 facilities, including plants and corporate offices of three major American can manufacturers – Rexam, Ball, and Crown Holdings Inc. Individual facilities partnered with schools and local organizations to collect and recycle used beverage cans. Proceeds from the effort will benefit Food for All, Habitat for Humanity, the American Red Cross, Boys and Girls Clubs, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Toys for Tots and other charities throughout the United States.

“Our contest provides an opportunity for can manufacturers and their employees to give something back—not only to the environment, but to their local communities,” said Robert Budway, president of CMI. “Our industry is proud of its efforts to optimize aluminum beverage can recycling while re-energizing the recycling ethic among consumers. We are even prouder of our efforts to reach out and help individuals that are really struggling in this tough economy.”

CMI recently launched a national campaign to raise awareness of the environmental benefits of recycling cans. “We’re highlighting the fact that cans are America’s most recycled package,” Budway added. “Most people would be surprised to hear that recycling 3 million cans saves enough energy to light 12 million light bulbs for an hour.”

Aluminum cans are “infinitely recyclable” and can be recycled into new cans and put back on store shelves in as few as 60 days. And can recycling benefits the environment in ways that extend beyond just minimizing landfill waste. For example, producing a can with recycled content requires 95 percent less energy than making that same can out of raw material. This in turn conserves energy, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and saves money. More information about CMI’s sustainability campaign can be found at

Originally launched in 2003 as the America Recycles Day Challenge, the contest’s goal was to raise awareness of recycling and give back to local communities. In the last eight years, the contest has recycled more than 293 million cans.

Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI)
CMI is the national trade association of the metal can manufacturing industry and its suppliers in the United States. CMI members account for the annual domestic production of 130 billion food, beverage and general line metal cans. Together, they employ approximately 32,000 workers and operate nearly 150 plants in 36 states. For more information, visit

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Christopher Rosche
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