Rethinking Recycling

Europe has undergone a major shift change in its attitudes to recycling, driven in part by EU edicts which states that businesses should recycle 80% of its waste.

However, as the world becomes increasingly conscious of the environment, debate continues as to what possible measures could be taken to ensure that companies go the extra mile in achieving their recycling targets.

BCME is proud to support a number of programmes, each of which demonstrate how the drinks can industry can lead the way when it comes to responsible disposal of packaging.

Among them is the UK’s Every Can Counts, which in 2014 increased its membership to over 1,500 businesses and organisations, and added Carlsberg UK to its list of industry funding partners.

Every Can Counts seeks to increase recycling numbers by educating people as to the importance of recycling not just at home, but also when ‘on the go’. As part of this, the campaign has had a presence at several music events and popular tourist destinations across Britain, securing a prize at the prestigious Environment and Energy Awards as a result.

It’s a similar philosophy to that which has been adopted by Austria’s Jede Dose Zählt programme, which has also targeted festivals as well as sporting events and parties to inject a sense of fun into recycling, and help to educate young people about the importance of responsible disposal.

According to head of Jede Dose Zählt, Dorothea Junk, the campaign has been restructured around the idea that ‘changing behaviour takes place in the heart, not the mind’.

Regional variations of Every Can Counts, or similar equivalent programmes, are currently running across the continent, from Romania to France and Ireland to Montenegro, and it seems that this commitment to action is coming ahead of its time.

A consultation on waste targets is currently taking place among EU chiefs, and legislative proposals are expected imminently. However, it would be unlikely for any new regulations to take effect before 2017, with member states then likely to be allowed 12-18 months to implement the new measures.

By pressing ahead with its commitment to recycling, the drinks can industry is on course to exceed any amended EU target, underpinning its commitment to leading the way when it comes to the responsible disposal of waste.


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Summer sun sees strong sales for industry

The drinks can manufacturing industry received a boost recently following the release of encouraging new sales figures in the UK, which industry trade body Can Makers puts down to warm weather and a summer of sport.

Can Makers reported that a 7.1% increase in sales followed a period of good weather in spring, and another summer of major sporting events including the FIFA World Cup, which saw a spike in canned drinks being consumed as part of social occasions. This was also reflected by upwards of 2.7 billion deliveries of beer and cider products, showing a growth of 8.2% when compared to figures from 2013.

As well as rises among alcoholic beverages, the stats also highlighted a strong performance of soft drinks, with deliveries increasing by 6% to more than 2.5 billion year on year. The figures also offered an insight into some of the most popular types of canned drinks, with energy drinks, particularly those in larger 500ml cans, rising by 23.1 per cent.

The strong sales for the first half of the year really showcases the popularity of the canned products, and how brands can capitalise on national events, as well as good weather in summer time.

For can makers, it demonstrates the importance of monitoring the interest and requirements of consumers, and ensuring that marketing strategies and product availability is tailored to major events and social customs in order to capitalise upon what remains a strong sales opportunity.

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Drinks can recycling a focus as Scottish businesses increase waste awareness

A survey of Scottish businesses carried out by the BCME backed recycling programme, Every Can Counts, has highlighted a series of dramatic increases in the waste awareness of Scottish businesses since 2013.

First introduced in Scotland in late 2012, Every Can Counts has become so prevalent throughout the country that awareness of the programme has risen to 77%, reflecting the key role it is playing in improving responsible waste disposal.

The introduction of the new Waste (Scotland) regulations on January 1st has dramatically altered business attitudes to recycling programmes, 91% setting future sustainability targets compared to 68% last year, and 89% saying their targets now include specific goals for drinks can recycling.

A partnership between BCME, together with a host of leading drinks manufacturers, the successes of the campaign reflect the industry’s ongoing commitment to recycling, underpinning the positive impact of Every Can Counts.

To find out more about the programme go to

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Recycling. How rewarding is it?

A new initiative launched in Sweden looks set to engage young people in can recycling by offering fast food rewards in exchange for discarded drinks dispensers.

The campaign from McDonalds has seen billboards across the city of Stockholm transformed into plastic bag dispensers, which passers-by can take and fill with drinks cans before trading them in exchange for free burgers at their local restaurant.

It’s an initiative which has been introduced in the summer months, a time when people look to refresh and rehydrate whilst on-the-go in good weather, and helps to harness the popularity of socialising outdoors in the bustling city whilst promoting the importance of disposing of any waste that’s generated in a responsible way.

Representing a new and innovative way of engaging young people in drinks can recycling, the initiative reinforces the importance of disposing of cans responsibly by offering rewards for taking a proactive approach.

The McDonalds campaign echoes the achievements of the BCME backed ‘Every Can Counts’ programme, which since 2009 has also targeted a young audience by establishing a presence at festivals and shopping centres, as well as in schools and universities.

It’s a model that works because it links recycling with the interests of young people, helping to encourage them to fulfil their responsibilities in an engaging way, and maximising the amount of waste recycled outside of the home.

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Craft beer makers get set for first Indie Beer Can Festival

With craft beer makers increasingly turning to cans to package their creations, BCME has teamed up with the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) to launch the Indie Beer Can Festival, demonstrating the high quality of craft beers now available in drinks cans.

The countdown to the event began with the announcement of its beer competition, which launched recently when more than 100 entrants were whittled down to just 12 finalists. The selections will be judged at the festival in London on September 11th, where Gold, Silver and Bronze medal winners will be selected.

Helping to showcase the excellence of the canned beers to experts including buyers and beer writers, the competition comes in response to the increasing number of American beer makers now using cans to package their brews, and encourages their UK counterparts to do the same.

With a host of top names in the real ale industry represented among the finalists, including Adnams, Thwaites, Batemans and Purity, as well as a host of smaller independent manufacturers, competition is likely to be fierce when brewers battle to become the first ever winner of the prestigious award.

Judges for the final include Tesco beer buyer, Chiara Nesbitt, as well as industry experts Adrian Tierney Jones and Jane Peyton; President of Cask Brewing Systems inc, Peter Love and Chairman of the Can Makers, Graham Fenton.

We wish all the contestants good luck, and we’re looking forward to raising a glass (or a can!) to the winner in September.

To find out more about the Indie Beer Can Festival, go to

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Every Can Counts programme introduces new recycling accreditation

The Every Can Counts programme continues to make a huge impact across the country, helping to inspire and motivate businesses, big and small, to make drinks can recycling a pivotal part of their CSR programmes.

The programme now comprises over 1500 organisations, in more than 4000 sites, with a huge 9279 can collection points now in situ throughout Britain, helping to significantly increase the amount of drinks cans recycled.

To mark five years of its campaign, Every Can Counts has now introduced a brand new accreditation, aimed at rewarding the achievement of businesses that have gone the extra mile when it comes to recycling.

The Green Can Award is designed to highlight best practice within the Every Can Counts programme, whilst providing an incentive to members to continue their great work to improve their recycling.

To qualify for a Green Can Award, businesses will demonstrate the positive impact Every Can Counts has made on recycling behaviour among their staff and customers, and the measures introduced to achieve these improvements.

Following a recent report from the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, which highlighted how businesses can help the UK move towards a zero waste economy, the introduction of the new accreditation comes at the ideal time for businesses which are keen to demonstrate how they have done their bit to improve sustainability.

Each entry for the Green Can Award will be judged by a panel of industry experts, and successful applicants will receive a certificate and an e-logo for use in marketing or CSR evaluations.

As well as being a useful accreditation to support sustainability programmes, the Award is also a great incentive for businesses to get creative and come up with brand new innovative and inspiring ways to enhance their recycling efforts, in turn increasing the effectiveness of Every Can Counts.

With separate awards for big and small businesses, and two annual deadlines for nominations, there’s plenty of scope for businesses to successfully apply for the award, and the very first winners will be announced later this year.

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Metal packaging recycling programme receives backing from Environment Secretary

An industry-funded campaign that works with local authorities to help improve capture rates for metals collected at the kerbside, has been supported by Rt. Hon Owen Paterson, The Secretary of State for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs

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