Hydro has commissioned a EUR 45 million facility aiming to recycle up to 50,000 tonnes of used beverage cans per year at its Neuss plant in Germany.

The facility is located in the heart of a growing can market, as Europeans now are using more than 30 billion cans a year. That equals 450,000 tonnes of used beverage cans (UBC) to recycle.

Waste for some, “silver” gold for others, Hydro turns this urban-mined resource into material for new can tabs, ends and bodies, closing the recycling loop.

Countries collect cans in various systems, where collected the bulk often contains impurities and other materials than aluminium.

“Hydro’s facility in Neuss is the first to adopt a patented, advanced sorting technology for used beverage cans, able to process collected aluminium material with up to 20% impurities – making the new recycling line the best place to be for any used beverage can,” said Hydro President and CEO Svein Richard Brandtzæg.

With the new used beverage can line, Hydro further optimises its sourcing of metal for subsequent fabrication. Its rolled products for packaging help protect food and medicine, while automotive body sheet allows for lighter and more efficient cars and other applications secure functionality and resource efficiency.

Used beverage can recycling in Neuss will save 350,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year, compared to use of primary aluminium. Energy needed to produce primary aluminium for one can is enough to recycle aluminium for 20 cans.