Aluminium beverage can recycling

Old, discarded aluminium beverage cans are among the products most often collected at Krommenhoek Metals. We buy them worldwide, pressed into packages. They are then forwarded to smelters. We have long-term, long-standing relationships with these partners since we know the exact level of quality that factories need for their melting and production processes.

Why are there so many old aluminium beverage cans?

Soft drink and beer brands prefer to package their products in cans. This type of packaging is both durable and attractive. Not only are they produced, but also sold and used around the world. Consequently, it takes considerable transport by air, road and water to bring these cans to consumers. An important reason to choose aluminium is therefore to reduce transport weight. After all, it is a very light material, especially compared to iron. This makes it possible to transport much larger quantities in a container without exceeding the maximum load weight.

Aluminium has yet another advantage as a packaging material, namely that it is highly resistant to carbonated beverages like soft drinks and beer.

Aluminium beverage cans and sustainability

The basic raw material bauxite is extracted from the earth’s crust and then converted into the end product aluminium. It can then be recycled endlessly. In other words, you can repeatedly empty, dispose, reprocess and melt an aluminium beverage can into a new one. In a nutshell, aluminium is an extremely sustainable product. It is not possible to recycle aluminium beverage cans in the Netherlands, but this process takes place elsewhere in the European Union. That is why Krommenhoek Metals has long-term contracts with various smelters.

Recycling percentage

The recycling of aluminium beverage cans in the European Union is increasing. This translates into a total savings of four million tonnes of CO₂ emissions. Growing can consumption is considered a major cause of this. Metal Packaging Europe and European Aluminium have launched a joint road map for 2030 that aims to achieve a recycling percentage of 100% for aluminium beverage cans over the next decade.

Container deposit systems

“We would very much like to see more countries moving towards modern and well-designed deposit return systems, allowing for optimal use of the high scrap value and quality of the collected aluminium cans,” says Maarten Labberton, Director of the Packaging Group at European Aluminium. “The most efficient solution for beverage can recycling would be to reuse them to produce new cans,” he adds. “No other type of beverage packaging can achieve such high recycling rates with so little primary material, resulting in product circularity and reduced CO₂ emissions.”