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EVERY CAN COUNTS opens U.S. chapter

New chapter celebrates establishment with Mardi Gras recycling initiative

The top of an aluminum can
EVERY CAN COUNTS U.S. is a partnership between aluminum beverage can manufacturers and aluminum suppliers. Pixabay

EVERY CAN COUNTS has established a U.S. chapter to expand its global movement to inspire, encourage, and empower more people to recycle aluminum beverage cans. The U.S. chapter joins chapters in 20 other countries.

EVERY CAN COUNTS U.S. is a partnership between aluminum beverage can manufacturers (Ardagh Metal Packaging, CANPACK, Crown Holdings, and Envases) and aluminum suppliers (Constellium, Kaiser Aluminum, Novelis, and Tri-Arrows Aluminum).

The new chapter's vision is to increase the amount of aluminum beverage cans collected and recycled in the United States with a focus on away-from-home beverage can collection. These efforts are part of a strategy to make progress toward the ambitious U.S. aluminum beverage can recycling rate targets set by Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI) aluminum beverage can members. These targets include going from the current 45 percent U.S. aluminum beverage can recycling rate to a 70 percent recycling rate by 2030.

To kick-start its away-from-home recycling efforts, EVERY CAN COUNTS U.S. is joining the City of New Orleans and many local organizations in the Recycle Dat initiative to make the 2024 Mardi Gras parades more sustainable. This year's initiative hopes to surpass the 1,475 pounds of aluminum beverage cans (nearly 150,000 individual cans) recycled during the 2023 parade season from those collected along the parade route and those sold to a local metal recycling facility.

For the 2024 parade season, Recycle Dat is adding more recycling hubs and can-only receptacles along the Uptown Mardi Gras parade route and at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. This will make it easier for parade-goers to recycle empty aluminum beverage cans, glass bottles, and beads. Local volunteers will power Recycle Dat by operating the hubs and engaging revellers on the importance of recycling. Some of these volunteers will be outfitted with special backpacks from EVERY CAN COUNTS U.S. where parade-goers can directly insert their aluminum beverage cans for recycling.

EVERY CAN COUNTS U.S. will take all the collected empty aluminum beverage cans to EMR Metal Recycling's mid-city location, which regularly buys used beverage cans. EVERY CAN COUNTS U.S. will double the market rate payout up to the first $5,000 and give the proceeds to three local charities – NOLA Cans 4 Food, Pontchartrain Conservancy, and Zeus' Rescues.

Besides this collection along the parade route, EVERY CAN COUNTS U.S. will also encourage New Orleans community members to bring their used aluminum beverage cans to the EMR Metal Recycling mid-city facility to earn cash. Used beverage cans are consistently one of the most valuable recyclable commodities. EVERY CAN COUNTS U.S. is making the financial reward even greater by doubling the market rate payout up to the first $5,000. Community members can either get a personal check for the value of their empty beverage cans plus the doubling or have the money go to the three local charities.

"Supporting Recycle Dat at Mardi Gras is the perfect way to launch EVERY CAN COUNTS U.S. because it brings can recycling to an event where there are many beverages enjoyed in aluminum cans but essentially no public space for recycling them once they are empty," said Scott Breen, CMI's senior vice president of sustainability.

While the chapter's primary focus will be to partner with more organizers and venues to make recycling aluminum beverage cans easier at festivals and events, it will also leverage social media to educate people about the benefits of recycling and inspire them to make more sustainable choices. To reward followers for recycling, EVERY CAN COUNTS U.S. will launch an Instagram contest during Mardi Gras with daily giveaways of gift cards to a local New Orleans brewery and a grand prize $200 gift card to a local, sustainable-minded restaurant. 

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