Novelis Recycles a Record 40 Billion Beverage Cans in 2009

World's Largest Recycler of Aluminum Cans Marks 40th Earth Day with a Call for Consumers to Step-Up Recycling of Used Beverage Cans

ATLANTA, April 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Novelis Inc., the global leader in aluminum rolled products and aluminum can recycling, today announced that it recycled an estimated 40 billion used beverage cans in 2009.  The company's focus on beverage can recycling saved more than 76 trillion BTUs of energy in the last year alone – the equivalent of more than 13 million barrels of oil.  The impact of this savings avoids the emission of five million metric tons of greenhouse gases – equal to taking more than 900,000 cars off the road for an entire year.

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In 2009, Novelis recycled more than half a million metric tons of aluminum cans through its extensive and expanding recycling operations on four continents.  By utilizing recycled cans to produce the aluminum needed to make new beverage cans, the company eliminates 95 percent of the energy required to produce primary aluminum from mining and smelting.

Used beverage cans are an excellent source of aluminum because they can be recycled and returned to the store shelf as new cans in as little as 60 days.  There is no limit to the number of times an aluminum container can be recycled, making it one of the most successful examples of sustainable manufacturing in the world today.

"The environmental benefits of recycling aluminum cans are tremendous," noted Philip Martens, president and chief operating officer of Novelis.  "From reductions in the mining of our precious natural resources to dramatically lower energy costs and the elimination of greenhouse gases, recycling aluminum cans is a clear win-win situation for both industry and the environment."

Martens also noted that the United States is the world's largest consumer of beverages packaged in aluminum cans, yet Americans recycle barely half of these cans – a lower recycling rate than many other developed countries.  

"I believe that U.S. consumers can do much more to realize the full economic and sustainability benefits achieved through the simple process of choosing to recycle beverage cans," said Martens. "Each can tossed into the recycling bin instead of the trash bin saves enough energy to power the average TV set for three hours.  When you think about it, what better way is there for an individual to help save the environment while at the same time contribute to our nation's energy independence?"  

Novelis has compiled a list of aluminum can recycling facts, figures and interesting comparisons that drive home the impact of increased beverage can recycling:

Aluminum Recycling Facts and Figures

    --  Recycling aluminum cans requires only five percent of the energy
        required to produce primary metal from mined and processed ore.
    --  Recycling aluminum avoids 95 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions
        produced from mined and processed metal.
    --  Recycling aluminum saves 97% of the water needed to produce new metal
        from ore.
    --  Recycling aluminum cans is a significant source of revenue for schools,
        charities and other volunteer groups.
    --  Aluminum recycling is the only packaging material that more than covers
        the cost of collection and re-processing, and subsidizes the cost of
        recycling other containers, including plastic and glass.
    --  According to the Can Manufacturers Institute, more than 96 billion
        aluminum beverage cans were produced in the U.S. for domestic use last
        year – more than 182,000 cans every minute.
    --  Almost half of all beverage cans sold in the U.S. each year are not
        recycled, ending up in our nation's landfills.
    --  Novelis' can recycling operations keep 1.2 billion pounds (547 million
        kilograms) of metal from going into landfills each year.
    --  The energy used to replace these discarded cans could provide
        residential lighting to a city the size of metropolitan Atlanta for more
        than two years.
    --  Laid end-to-end, the 40 billion cans recycled by Novelis last year would
        stretch from the earth to the moon and back more than six times.

About Novelis

Novelis Inc. is the world's largest manufacturer of aluminum rolled products and the global leader in aluminum can recycling. The company has about 12,000 employees in 11 countries, and reported revenue of $10.2 billion in its fiscal 2009. Novelis supplies premium aluminum sheet and foil products to automotive, transportation, packaging, construction, industrial, electronics and printing markets worldwide. The company is a subsidiary of Hindalco Industries Limited (BSE: HINDALCO), one of Asia's largest integrated producers of aluminum and a flagship of the multinational Aditya Birla Group. For more information, please visit

SOURCE Novelis Inc.