The formation of the new business, headed up by Silverio Colalancia, the company's director of recycling, will make Novelis the largest buyer of UBCs in North America.

The move is in line with Novelis' global strategy to enhance its scrap procurement and recycling assets, said Derek Prichett, vice president of global recycling.

Novelis aims to achieve an 80% recycled content in all of its products by 2020.

"The ability to independently control our assets and manage our business will provide us with more flexibility to execute our strategic plans," said Prichett. "This is the primary driver behind our exit of Evermore."

The Evermore joint venture is officially over on 31 August, but Chris Anderson, currently supply chain manager for Evermore, will rejoin Novelis in Atlanta on 1 August, reporting to Colalancia.

Novelis will continue to receive UBCs exclusively through the joint venture until the end of August when Alcoa will assume full control of the Evermore business and it becomes a part of Alcoa's Global Packaging Group.

Novelis currently buys the equivalent of 40 billion cans per annum, worth an estimated US$1 billion and expects its global consumption to be 60 billion by 2015.

The company has increased the amount of recycled metal it uses in its rolling operations from 33% to 39% in under a year, bringing it half way towards its 80% goal by 2020.