They said it was the highest recycling rate of any beverage container in the USA. In 2009, Americans and the industry recycled nearly 55.5bn aluminium cans, nearly 2.3bn more than in 2008.

Steve Larkin, president of the Aluminum Association said: “A recycled can is able to be back on the store shelf in as little as 60 days—using 95% less energy and 95% less greenhouse gas emissions then creating a can from new metal.”

In 2009, more than 4.6Mt of aluminium was processed by the US scrap industry saving the energy equivalent of 1.3bn gallons of gasoline.

The highest processed receipts in five years demonstrate that the aluminium industry continues its commitment to recycling.

This effort resulted in the largest year-on-year percentage increase in the past ten years, and the highest effective rate since 2000.

Larkin said: “While we are pleased with the increase, we need all Americans to step-up their recycling efforts to assure the availability of the can and to reach the industry’s own goal of a 75% rate.”

Fast Facts

- Today’s beverage can weighs 0.466 ounces, more than 15% lighter than in 1993.

- The carbon footprint for aluminium cans has been reduced 44% over the past 17 years.

- Energy used to make aluminium cans has been reduced 30% over the past 17 years.

- The aluminium can has a 68% total recycled content, the highest of any beverage package material.

- Secondary aluminium production, which is produced from recycled beverage cans, generates 95% less Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) emissions than primary production.