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

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