(Reuters) – French food and drinks multinational Danone (DANO.PA) is the latest company shaking up the world’s $19 billion bottled water industry by switching some of its plastic bottles, which pollute oceans, to aluminum cans. Below are details of how aluminum and other materials rate in terms of sustainability, plus plans by the bottled water sector to substitute the lightweight metal for plastic. ALUMINUM CANS VS PLASTICS Globally, only 14% of plastic packaging is collected for recycling and only 5% of the material value is retained for later use, according to a report here by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles used in the water industry have a higher collection rate at 55%, but much of that material does not return as bottles – 80% of recycled PET bottles are turned into items such as carpets and clothing, eventually ending up in landfills. See graphic: tmsnrt.rs/2PDRvhd Aluminum cans have a higher global recycling rate at 69%, according to Resource Recycling Systems, while aluminum cans in the United States contain 68% recycled content compared to 3% for plastic bottles, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Aluminum, however, is very energy-intensive to produce and has a higher carbon footprint, responsible for… continue reading
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