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USED ALUMINUM BEVERAGE CANS BEING RECOVERED AT RECORD RATE

 USED ALUMINUM BEVERAGE CANS BEING RECOVERED AT RECORD RATE
 WASHINGTON, July 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Recovery of aluminum beverage cans, America's most recycled package, ran 14 percent higher in the first five months of 1992 than in the comparable period in 1991, according to The Aluminum Association. The figures are based on member company reports to the association.
 Through May 1992, 874.06 million pounds of used beverage cans had been recovered. Through May 1991, the figure was 766.96 million pounds. For all of 1991, a record 1.969 billion pounds, representing 56.85 billion cans, were recovered for a 62.4 percent recycling rate.
 "The increase in aluminum can recovery underscores the industry's commitment to total recycling of used aluminum beverage cans," according to David Parker, Aluminum Association president. "It also reflects the dedication of millions of consumers who make sure the aluminum beverage cans get back through various recycling systems.
 "Aluminum can sheet producers want all of the aluminum cans we can recover," Parker said. "We will take back all the cans we can get because we really need them," he said.
 Parker noted that the number of recovered cans has been increasing despite the fact that their current cash value is somewhat lower than in recent years. "This is in reaction to recession- depressed world aluminum prices aggravated by the large amount of primary aluminum which has been coming into world markets from the former Soviet Union since 1990."
 Primary aluminum is virtually pure metal made from ore. The value of used beverage cans bears a strong relationship to can sheet prices and that of alternate metal sources including primary aluminum.
 Parker added that even though the value of aluminum used beverage cans is down somewhat from previous years, it remains more than five times higher than any other used packaging material.
 1991 was the 20th consecutive year that the number of recycled aluminum beverage cans increased. In 1972, the first year national numbers were kept, 1.2 billion cans were recycled.
 Aluminum is used for 96.5 percent of the nation's soft drink and beer cans. In addition, an estimated 8 percent of the nation's food cans are now aluminum, a growing trend.
 Parker said the continuing increase in aluminum beverage can recycling is driven by economic as well as environmental concerns. "The millions of people who recycle aluminum cans every day appreciate the fact that aluminum's scrap value means money for them and benefits for the environment. In addition to conserving natural resources, recycling aluminum saves 95 percent of the energy it takes to make the metal from bauxite ore."
 Parker pointed out that in addition to the thousands of community recycling programs, there are more than 10,000 locations where aluminum cans are recycled for cash. The recycling public earns an estimated $2 million daily for recycling used aluminum beverage cans.
 Aluminum can be recycled over and over again with no loss in quality. The system is so efficient that an aluminum can may be purchased, used, recycled and returned to the retailer's shelf in as little as six weeks.
 Today's all-aluminum beverage can weighs 30 percent less than its 1972 counterpart because of design modifications and improved rolling technology.
 The Aluminum Association's member companies are domestic producers of primary and secondary aluminum and semi-fabricated aluminum products. Member companies operate 300 plants in 40 states. The association is headquartered in Washington.
 -0- 7/24/92
 /CONTACT: Yvonne Beeler, 202-862-5161, or Jim Plumb, 202-862-5162, both of The Aluminum Association/ CO: The Aluminum Association ST: District of Columbia IN: SU:


DC -- DC009 -- 2968 07/24/92 10:48 EDT
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Date:Jul 24, 1992
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