New Analysis Shows Significant Economic and Environmental Benefits of Boosting Aluminum Can Recycling Rate in U.S.

Increasing aluminum can recycling rate to 90% would generate $6.6B for the U.S. economy, add more than 100,000 jobs, keep 1.3M tons of aluminum out of landfills and reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by 12.1M metric tons of CO2e

WESTMINSTER, Colo. and ANN ARBOR, Mich., March 30, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Today, Ball Corporation (NYSE: BLL) and Resource Recycling Systems (RRS), a sustainable material and resource consulting firm, released a new nationwide study showing the economic and environmental benefits of improving the aluminum can recycling rate in the United States to 90% – an increase from the current rate of 38%. Infinitely recyclable and economically valuable, aluminum is among the most sustainable beverage packaging materials, and when recycled, uses 92% less energy than virgin material and supports increased supply of domestic recycled metal.

In 2021, Ball Corporation released its vision for increased circularity across the industry in the Towards a Perfect Circle Report (2021). The report details a vision for the industry to achieve a 90% global recycling rate of aluminum. The new study from RRS and Ball Corporation demonstrates the environmental and economic impact of achieving this goal in the U.S.

The new study entitled “Recycling Aluminum Cans Is Good Business” indicates that a substantial improvement of the U.S. aluminum recycling rate would provide the following benefits:

  • Contribute 103,800 jobs in collection, sorting, and reprocessing to the U.S. economy;
  • More than double total waste collection and recycling industry wages from $2.1 billion to $5 billion;
  • Generate $1.6 billion in economic activity through material sales;
  • Keep 1.3 million tons of materials out of landfills each year;
  • Save enough energy to power 1.5 million homes for a year; and
  • Reduce GHG emissions by 12.1 million MTCO2e annually – equivalent to taking 2.6 million cars off the road for a year.

“There is no question the market for more recycled aluminum is there, and so is the potential for huge energy savings and job creation,” said John Hayes, chairman of Ball Corporation. “That’s why we’re advocating for smart recycling policies at the state and federal level that can help the U.S. reduce our dependence on imported materials, strengthen our domestic supply chain and make these benefits a reality.”

“The benefits of increasing aluminum recycling rates in this country are very clear,” said Marisa Adler, Senior Consultant, RRS. “Now it’s up to leaders at the state and federal level to develop a policy roadmap for making the most of this opportunity.”

The “Recycling Aluminum Cans Is Good Business” analysis, was compiled using 2021 data sourced from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Aluminum Association and Ball Corporation. The analysis also demonstrates how improved recycling enhances our nation’s domestic supply chain of aluminum and decreases our reliance on primary aluminum imports. The study includes factsheets and data for all 50 states, in addition to a national snapshot.

RRS used state recycling rate data from the 50 States of Recycling Report (2021) to determine baselines. Notably, while the Aluminum Association has reported a 45.2% consumer recycling rate for aluminum cans, the RRS analysis uses 38% as the national baseline to reflect the percentage of aluminum that actually makes it to remelting facilities, after material losses that occur during collection and sorting. Unfortunately, collection and recycling are not synonymous. As detailed in Ball Corporation’s Towards a Perfect Circle Report (2021), boosting collection rates exponentially increases the amount of recycled material that is kept in the loop over the long term.

View and download the national and state-specific fact sheets here.

About RRS
Founded in 1986 and headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Resource Recycling Systems (RRS) is a sustainability and recycling consulting firm that strives to create a world where resources are managed to maximize economic and social benefit while minimizing environmental harm. The firm has industry professionals, engineers, economists, technical analysts, and communication specialists who share this vision and possess core strengths in materials and recovery, life cycle management, applied sustainable design, and collaborative action development.

About Ball Corporation
Ball Corporation supplies innovative, sustainable aluminum packaging solutions for beverage, personal care and household products for customers, as well as aerospace and other technologies and services primarily for the U.S. government. Ball Corporation and its subsidiaries employ 24,300 people worldwide and reported 2021 net sales of $13.8 billion. For more information, visit, or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.

Forward-Looking Statements
This release contains “forward-looking” statements concerning future events and financial performance. Words such as “expects,” “anticipates,” “estimates,” “believes,” and similar expressions typically identify forward-looking statements, which are generally any statements other than statements of historical fact. Such statements are based on current expectations or views of the future and are subject to risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied. You should therefore not place undue reliance upon any forward-looking statements and they should be read in conjunction with, and qualified in their entirety by, the cautionary statements referenced below. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Key factors, risks and uncertainties that could cause actual outcomes and results to be different are summarized in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including Exhibit 99 in our Form 10-K, which are available on our website and at Additional factors that might affect: a) our packaging segments include product capacity, supply, and demand constraints and fluctuations and changes in consumption patterns; availability/cost of raw materials, equipment, and logistics; competitive packaging, pricing and substitution; changes in climate and weather; footprint adjustments and other manufacturing changes, including the startup of new facilities and lines; failure to achieve synergies, productivity improvements or cost reductions; unfavorable mandatory deposit or packaging laws; customer and supplier consolidation; power and supply chain interruptions; changes in major customer or supplier contracts or loss of a major customer or supplier; inability to pass through increased costs; war, political instability and sanctions, including relating to the situation in Russia and Ukraine and its impact on our supply chain and our ability to operate in Russia and the EMEA region generally; changes in foreign exchange or tax rates; and tariffs, trade actions, or other governmental actions, including business restrictions and shelter-in-place orders in any country or jurisdiction affecting goods produced by us or in our supply chain, including imported raw materials; b) our aerospace segment include funding, authorization, availability and returns of government and commercial contracts; and delays, extensions and technical uncertainties affecting segment contracts; c) the Company as a whole include those listed above plus: the extent to which sustainability-related opportunities arise and can be capitalized upon; changes in senior management, succession, and the ability to attract and retain skilled labor; regulatory actions or issues including those related to tax, ESG reporting, competition, environmental, health and workplace safety, including U.S. FDA and other actions or public concerns affecting products filled in our containers, or chemicals or substances used in raw materials or in the manufacturing process; technological developments and innovations; the ability to manage cyber threats; litigation; strikes; disease; pandemic; labor cost changes; inflation; rates of return on assets of the Company’s defined benefit retirement plans; pension changes; uncertainties surrounding geopolitical events and governmental policies, including policies, orders, and actions related to COVID-19; reduced cash flow; interest rates affecting our debt; and successful or unsuccessful joint ventures, acquisitions and divestitures, and their effects on our operating results and business generally.

Ball Corporation Logo. (PRNewsFoto/Ball Corporation)


Cision View original content to download multimedia:

SOURCE Ball Corporation