The International Aluminium Institute (IAI) commissioned research into the recycling of three beverage container materials – aluminium, glass and plastic (polyethylene terephthalate – PET). This is the first comprehensive public study analyzing the recycling value chain for single-use beverage containers in five key markets, including Brazil, China, Europe, Japan and the US. It looked at the end-of-life processing losses for aluminium cans, glass bottles and plastic (PET) bottles. The study also looked at the collection, sorting, reprocessing and thermal processing, closed-loop recycling and open-loop recycling.
The findings show that aluminium cans best support a circular economy, and that compared with aluminium cans, more glass and plastic bottles end up in landfills because they are not collected.
Today more than 70% of the material used in aluminium cans is recycled into new products – almost double that of glass (34%) and plastic (40%).