New recycling scheme for cans in the workplace

‘Every Can Counts’ is a new attempt to encourage can recycling at work, launched by the beverage can manufacturing and recycling industry. It offers employers the opportunity to set up and promote drinks can recycling within their organisation by providing access to a collection service and offering innovative communications resources designed to encourage employees to get into the recycling habit. An additional element of the programme will promote drinks can recycling to university students.
Funded by Beverage Can Makers Europe (BCME), UK Canmakers, the aluminium packaging manufacturing and recycling industry and the Waste & Resources Action Programme (Wrap), Every Can Counts has been developed, and will be managed, by the Aluminium Packaging Recycling Organisation (Alupro). Can collections are currently being offered by waste management companies Biffa and Severnside Recycling, and vending cup recyclers Save-a-Cup. A communications programme provides businesses with branded recycling resources and promotional materials, all of which are available to order or download via a dedicated website.
Focusing on the collection of both aluminium and steel drink cans, Every Can Counts demonstrates the commitment of the metal packaging sector to maximise the collection of beverage cans for recycling to ensure that current and future targets are met and exceeded. The beverage can is the most recycled drinks pack in the world, but in the UK currently around 30 per cent of the 8 billion cans sold every year (30,000 tonnes of aluminium, 12,000 tonnes of steel) are consumed outside the home, so do not get recycled through local authority kerbside collections.
Every Can Counts will initially test the drivers and barriers to running successful recycling schemes for drink cans in workplaces and university campuses.
It will measure factors such as the economic viability of various kinds of collection programme and the test the impact of the branded communications programme on new and established recycling schemes. Ultimately it is hoped that it will establish a ‘best practice’ model for away from home recycling which will then be rolled out nationwide.
Executive Director of Alupro, Rick Hindley believes the time is right for a workplace recycling programme such as Every Can Counts: “Government policy and social attitudes are both working to create a need for businesses to become more sustainable. Recycling helps them to manage waste effectively and meet pre-treatment legislation; added to this their employees and their customers want to know that they are committed to acting sustainably. We believe that Every Can Counts can help to address all of these issues and contribute to creating lasting behaviour change, by providing a collection infrastructure reinforced by an informative and exciting communications programme.”