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Recycling facts and figures
Policies and procedures
Recycling facts and figures
General metal recycling
In 2010/11, 250,000 tonnes of metal cans were recycled in the UK with a value of approximately £27 million – that’s the weight equivalent of more than 35,700 adult bull African elephants!
In 2010/11, 215,000 tonnes of metal cans were recycled in England with a value of approximately £23.5 million
In 2010/11, 16,500 tonnes of metal cans were recycled in Scotland with a value of approximately £1.8 million
In 2010/11, 12,500 tonnes of metal cans were recycled in Wales with a value of approximately £1.4 million
In 2010/11, 5,000 tonnes of metal cans were recycled in Northern Ireland with a value of approximately £540,000
Metal cans are 100% recyclable, again and again, and can be back on the shelf in just 60 days
75% of the aluminium ever made is still in productive use today
Aluminium is a lightweight but strong metal that does not rust or corrode. It is easily made into complex shapes for a wide range of products – from greenhouses to skyscrapers
Aluminium is one of the world’s most abundant elements and is found in rocks, soil, vegetation, water and even the air
Each drinks can you recycle today could be reprocessed and remade into a new product … or another drinks can
The UK produces over 9 billion drinks cans every year. 80% are made of aluminium
In a whole year, an individual drinks can could be recycled eight times, saving enough energy to make 160 new cans.
In the UK, drinks cans can be recycled, made into new cans, filled and put back on the shelf in just six weeks.
Around 12.5 billion steel cans are used annually in the UK
Every household uses approximately 600 steel cans a year
In 2005, around 50% per cent of all steel packaging was recycled
Over 2.5 billion cans are recycled in the UK each year – equivalent to the weight of 18,000 double decker buses
All steel cans are 100% recyclable. They can be recycled over and over again, into anything from cars and bicycles to more steel cans
Steel is the only common metal that will stick to a magnet
Millions of steel cans are collected every day by huge magnets that pull them out of waste
A Frenchman, Nicolas Appert, invented the steel can in 1810 as a way to preserve food for Napoleon’s army
Steel is the most recycled metal in the UK – and in the world
The thinnest part of a steel can wall measures only 0.07mm thick - that's thinner than a human hair
It would take 1,087 steel drinks cans stacked end-to-end to reach the top of the London Eye - or 2,818 to reach the top of the Eiffel Tower.
Steel cans are becoming lighter. The average weight of a soft drinks can is now only 21.4g, compared with 31.2g in 1980
All steel cans contain up to 25% recycled steel
It’s not just food and drink that come in steel cans. Many paint cans, aerosols, biscuit and sweet tins, and bottle tops are also made from steel
Two-thirds of all cans on our supermarket shelves are made of steel.
Recycling seven steel cans saves enough energy to power a 60-watt light bulb for 26 hours.