Thursday, November 6, 2014

Encouraging Recycling of Empty Aerosols

Americans generated about 251 million tons of trash and recycled and composted almost 87 million tons of this material, equivalent to a 34.5 percent recycling rate, according to most recent EPA estimates.  About 9% of the waste generated is metal.  Aerosol products only make up a small percentage of that, but 3.8 billion aerosol products are produced in the US each year, so there is still a very large opportunity to make a significant impact.

Representatives of CAPCO recently participated in the national Resource Recycling Conference in New Orleans, LA to engage directly with professionals in the recycling industry, including MRF (Material Recovery Facility) operators, waste haulers, equipment suppliers, and recycling coordinators for local municipalities.

CAPCO has been working to increase awareness that aerosol products are recyclable.  They are made of steel or aluminum, which are infinitely recyclable and valuable in the waste stream.  According to the Steel Recycling Institute’s (SRI) National Recycling Database, there are over 21,000 locations that accept steel cans, but only a third of those actively publicize the acceptance of aerosol cans. Communication is vital to keeping aerosols out of landfills.  We are working with partners like SRI to get a consistent message out to both consumers and recycling programs.  Aerosols ARE recyclable when empty and this should be communicated by the municipality, the waste hauler, and on the product itself.    In many cases it is, but there is still work to be done.   You can help by inquiring with  your municipality to see if they’re accepted, and encourage them to include that information clearly on bin/instructions, if so, or encourage them to include them, if not.  Please visit for more information.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

What to Do Once the Sun Sets

Summer is nearly over and so is your can of spray sunscreen. Now what?

Now it’s time to recycle. Spray sunscreens, like other household aerosol products, are recyclable so long as the can is empty. What’s more, recycling the cans is easy.
Thousands of communities now include aerosol product recycling in both household residential and curbside buy-back and drop-off programs. All you have to do is use up the last spray of the product and drop it in your recycling container.
Not sure if your local program accepts empty aerosol products? Give them a call and ask.
Help keep beaches clean and garbage cans empty. Recycle your spray sunscreen product and tell your neighbors to do so too.
To learn more click here.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

A New World Cup Hero Emerges

No, we’re not referring to Messe or Ozil, but a new product that utilizes the aerosol product form to help referees move games along faster.  The product is a water-based foam that is sprayed on the field by referees to make a temporary line for penalty kicks, etc, and it has become referred to as “felony foam” among fans and via Twitter.
Photographer: Michael Steele/Getty Images

The product was invented by an Argentine company called 915 Fair Play.  It has been widely adopted in Latin America and made its debut with the rest of the professional soccer world at this year’s World Cup Tournament in Brazil.   

This innovation is a great example of utilizing the technology of the aerosol product form to develop a product that met a consumer need.  This disappearing foam quickly and accurately marks the field and then dissolves on its own in less than two minutes!

The Consumer Aerosol Products Council reminds consumers that aerosol products are recyclable when empty and they no longer include CFCs.  To learn more about the aerosol product form, please visit:

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

2013 Recycle-Bowl Winners Announced!

Recycle-Bowl® is a nationwide classroom recycling competition that CAPCO has supported for the past two  years with  nearly 700,000 students in all 50 states and the District of Columbia competing.

The 2013 national Recycle-Bowl champion was Foothill Elementary School in Pittsburg, CA where students recycled 157 pounds of materials per child. If all students in America recycled at the rate of this year’s Recycle-Bowl competitors, approximately 3.2 million tons of material would be diverted annually from landfills. That is the equivalent weight of 302,033 school buses.

“Inspiring young people to recycle at school reinforces the importance of recycling everywhere, whether at home or on the go,” said Jennifer Jehn, president and CEO of Keep America Beautiful. “We are also pleased that so many schools use the competition to improve existing recycling programs or develop new ones that didn’t exist prior to their participation.”

From Oct. 15 through Nov. 15, 2013, participating schools recycled as much as possible. The total amount of recyclables recovered during the 2013 competition added up to 6.4 million pounds, which in turn prevented the release of nearly 8,913 metric tons of carbon equivalent.  In real-world terms, this reduction in greenhouse gases is equivalent to the annual emissions from 473 passenger cars.

The competition offered a $1,000 prize to the school in each state that collected the most recyclable material per capita. A national champion was then chosen from among the statewide winners to receive an additional grand prize of another $1,000 and a $2,500 store credit from Busch Systems to purchase recycling bins, earning a total of $4,500 in prize money for the California school.

“The Recycle-Bowl competition offers a chance to strengthen the current recycling efforts in our school and activate students to recycle. The raised awareness and excitement around recycling reaches each grade level in the school and brings a sense of ownership to each student, “said Sara Fuentes, recycling coordinator for Foothills Elementary School. “Our students worked hard—they’re proud of the impact they had on recycling in the school.” 

CAPCO has supported the Recycle-Bowl as a toolkit sponsor and has included a classroom activity and an information sheet about recycling empty aerosol products which is sent to the first 1,000 schools that register for the competition each year.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Pledge to Recycle Empty Aerosols on America Recycles Day

Today is America Recycles Day, and on this special day we encourage citizens to take the pledge to recycle more products, including empty aerosol containers. The number of municipalities accepting empty aerosol containers in the U.S. is increasing – making recycling aerosols easier for consumers.  

You can pledge to recycle more by visiting the America Recycles Day site administered by Keep America Beautiful, one of the Consumer Aerosol Product Council’s (CAPCO) partners.  CAPCO is also a sponsor of Recycle-Bowl, a classroom recycling challenge that culminates on America Recycles Day. 

Nearly four billion aerosol cans are produced in the U.S. annually for products ranging from shaving cream to bicycle lubricant.  More than 5,300 municipalities now include aerosol cans in their recycling programs. Most steel aerosol cans feature the “Please Recycle When Empty” logo to indicate they can be safely recycled. Here’s how:

  1. Empty the aerosol of its contents through normal use.
  2. Check instructions from the local collector to determine if empty aerosols are accepted.
  3. Place empty aerosol container in bin along with other recyclables.  

Large cities such as New York City and San Francisco have included empty aerosol cans in their curbside programs for years. CAPCO and the CSPA Aerosol Products Division have been working for 20 years to increase awareness among consumers and to get more municipalities to include aerosol cans in their recycling programs. “Now more than 65 percent of Americans have access to aerosol recycling through curbside pickup, drop off and waste-to-energy recovery programs,” said Doug Fratz, Aerosol Products Division Staff Executive at the Consumer Specialty Products Association, which represents the consumer aerosol industry. “We continue to work toward a day when everyone can easily recycle their aerosol containers.” 

For additional information about aerosol product recycling, go to

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Register Now for Recycle-Bowl Competition!

CAPCO is continuing its partnership with Keep America Beautiful as a sponsor for the Recycle-Bowl.  The first 1,000 schools to register will receive a tool kit that includes information about how to recycle aerosol cans, an educational Material Recovery Facility poster, competition posters, a “recycling coach’s” clipboard and other materials.  Schools are encouraged to register as soon as possible.

How Does Recycle-Bowl Work?

Recycle-Bowl was created to provide students with a fun, interactive way to learn about waste reduction and environmental responsibility through in-school recycling. All schools can participate in the incentive-based recycling competition, which kicks off in October.  But registration is now open on the Recycle-Bowl website at The competition runs from October 21 through November 15, culminating on America Recycles Day. Participating schools will track and report how much recyclable material (bottles, cans, cartons and paper) they collect for a chance to win prizes. At the close of the four-week competition, the school in each state that collects the most recyclable material per capita will win $1,000. A national champion will then be chosen from among the statewide winners to receive an additional grand prize.

Help us reach our goal of having 1,700 schools participate in 2013!

The Recycle-Bowl Competition began in 2011 and by its second year, more than 1,500 schools, representing more than 900,000 students, participated in the competition. Want to know how many schools in your state are currently competing? You can find a state leaderboard on the website and an interactive map showing all the competing schools.

CAPCO reminds teachers and consumers that aerosol products are recyclable when empty.  Many programs already include empty aerosol containers into their curbside recycling programs, but CAPCO is working to get more local municipalities to include them and also to increase awareness among consumers that they can be recycled.  Please visit for more information.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Recycling of Empty Aerosol Products Rises: Work to Increase Awareness Continues

A recent study done for the British Aerosol Manufacturers’ Association (BAMA) showed that in the UK nearly 70% of the population buy/use aerosols and 73% of those are recycling.  In the UK 87% of municipalities accept empty aerosol containers for recycling, this is up dramatically from only 7% accepting them less than two decades ago!

Similarly, the number of municipalities that accept empty aerosol containers in the U.S. is increasing as well.  In a recent webinar sponsored by Keep America Beautiful, Consumer Aerosol Products Council (CAPCO) shared that more than four billion aerosol cans are produced in the U.S. annually and more than 5,200 municipalities include steel aerosol cans in their recycling programs, serving more than 100 million people according to the Steel Recycling Institute (more than 75% of aerosols are steel).

Fortunately, large cities such as New York City and San Francisco have included empty aerosol cans in their curbside programs for years. But there is still work to be done to increase awareness among consumers. It is important for consumers and municipalities to understand that empty aerosol cans are recyclable to increase participation in recycling efforts. The good news is that both steel and aluminum are infinitely recyclable and valuable, so the case for recycling them is strong.
For example, steel food cans are currently accepted in 18,239 recycling programs already.  If all those programs also included empty steel aerosol cans, 193 million people would be served—that’s about 2/3 of the U.S. population!
CAPCO is an educational non-profit focused on providing the facts about today’s aerosol products, including their recyclability.  To learn more, please visit