The plan is to call the new combined undertaking, Alcoa Recycling and the objective of the new group will be to 'further increase the amount of aluminum that is converted back into new products'.

In 2012, Alcoa recycled approximately 1.4 billion pounds of external aluminum. The company believes that by combining the two groups, it will be able to leverage their strengths and go to the market in a singular, focused manner, according to Michael Boyle, director of metal management at Alcoa.

Boyle, who will be in charge of Alcoa Recycling, believes that the vast majority of Alcoa's partners have the capability to supply both scrap and UBCs to the company for recycling. "This new organisation will now interface with the market as one entity,” he said.

According to Alcoa, the new group will work with customers across markets to build upon the large number of closed-loop recycling programs the company has with customers, as well as implement supply chain efforts with suppliers to increase aluminum recycling.

Alcoa has already announced a closed-loop recycling program with Boeing that will significantly increase the re-use of internal aluminum aerospace alloys from the production of Boeing airplanes. Approximately 8 million pounds of high-value 2XXX and 7XXX series aluminum alloys are expected to be recycled annually and the initiative lays the groundwork for expansion of the effort to capture scrap from Boeing sub-contractors. Similar programs have been underway for years across Alcoa’s customer base.

Alcoa claims a long history of driving recycling efforts and 'leveraging the infinite recyclability of aluminum'. On average, can stock product from Alcoa's Tennessee operations contains approximately 90% total recycled content. The company's packaging products have been Cradle-to-Cradle certified for several years.

"The Cradle-to-Cradle standard is a multi-attribute, continuous improvement methodology that represents the most comprehensive sustainability product quality mark available," according to Alcoa. "The newly aligned Alcoa Recycling group will work with Alcoa businesses to further drive these types of efforts."