PET Food Processing - September 2021 - 73

US steel can recycling rate:
US aluminum can recycling rate:
Environmental Protection Agency (2018)
Aluminum Association and Can Manufacturers Institute (2019-used beverage cans)
71%
46%
which can impact a magnet's ability to pull the can during
sorting. However, the research also found that the presence
of food residue is not a technical or operational barrier to
aluminum or steel recycling, meaning that pet owners can
still be encouraged to recycle their aluminum and steel pet
food cans regardless of whether those cans are completely
empty or rinsed.
Aluminum
Our research found that aluminum pet food cans are also
widely accepted by MRFs but pose unique recycling challenges.
While UBCs are highly sought after and recycled at
high rates, the mills that turn UBCs into new beverage cans
only want UBCs; uniform bales are worth more to MRFs
and are more sought after by end users. Pet food cans are
made with a different alloy, and different alloys in the melt
at beverage can sheet mills can create inefficiencies. Still,
there are ready end-markets for mixed aluminum that includes
aluminum pet food cans. These end-markets create
products including " deox, " an important additive in the
steel making process, and remelt scrap ingot.
To be recycled with the mixed aluminum, aluminum
pet food cans must be properly sorted. Some smaller cans
(like 3-oz cat food cans) may slip through sorters and not
be captured for further processing. The extent to which
smaller cat food cans are not being appropriately sorted is
unclear. Additional can capture equipment, which the aluminum
beverage can industry is promoting with its MRF
can-capture grant program, could help ensure all aluminum
pet food cans are appropriately sorted and thus improve
recycling rates.
Identifying solutions
Researchers who spoke with the MRFs and end markets
provided recommendations to increase pet food can recycling.
First, while label space is often at a premium, it gives
pet food makers an opportunity to communicate with customers
about the recyclability of cans and the impact of recycling
them. Simple language may encourage pet owners
to put empty pet food cans in the recycle bin. Pet owners
should know that an empty can need not be squeaky clean
to be recycled.
Another recommendation from RRS was for a more indepth
study of the amount of packaging lost at the MRFs
when being processed. If small pet food cans are not captured,
it is important to understand the significance of this loss as a
starting point for increasing the recycling of these cans.
Finally, our research indicates there is a valuable opportunity
for producers and users of steel and aluminum
pet food cans to come together to increase their recycling.
When these interested stakeholders work with MRFs and
end markets, together we can identify solutions that advance
the recovery of recyclable material, which has both
commercial and environmental benefits.
A look to the future
PFI is taking this research to heart. Aside from this and
other fora, we will share the findings and recommendations
with other stakeholders. Our research has identified
opportunities for partnerships focused on increasing
the recycling rate of all pet food cans. PFI's Sustainability
Working Group, comprised of sustainability and regulatory
experts among PFI member companies, is committed
to finding practical and achievable packaging sustainability
solutions that benefit the environment.
Our research findings and recommendations will guide
decisions and next steps among PFI members. PFI will
bring together key stakeholders in packaging recycling to
identify tangible steps we can all take to improve packaging
recycling. Consumer and policymaker awareness and
expectations are high when it comes to packaging sustainability,
and we are eager to share information that can lead
to action that benefits pets and our planet.
Peter Tabor is the vice president of regulatory and international
affairs for Pet Food Institute.
www.petfoodprocessing.net | September 2021 | PET FOOD PROCESSING 73
The recovery
of recyclable
material has both
commercial and
environmental
benefits for
producers and
users of steel and
aluminum pet
food cans.
©kokorita - stock.adobe.com
PFP
http://www.petfoodprocessing.net

PET Food Processing - September 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of PET Food Processing - September 2021

PET Food Processing - September 2021 - Intro
PET Food Processing - September 2021 - 1
PET Food Processing - September 2021 - 2
PET Food Processing - September 2021 - 3
PET Food Processing - September 2021 - 4
PET Food Processing - September 2021 - 5
PET Food Processing - September 2021 - 6
PET Food Processing - September 2021 - 7
PET Food Processing - September 2021 - 8
PET Food Processing - September 2021 - 9
PET Food Processing - September 2021 - 10
PET Food Processing - September 2021 - 11
PET Food Processing - September 2021 - 12
PET Food Processing - September 2021 - 13
PET Food Processing - September 2021 - 14
PET Food Processing - September 2021 - 15
PET Food Processing - September 2021 - 16
PET Food Processing - September 2021 - 17
PET Food Processing - September 2021 - 18
PET Food Processing - September 2021 - 19
PET Food Processing - September 2021 - 20
PET Food Processing - September 2021 - 21
PET Food Processing - September 2021 - 22
PET Food Processing - September 2021 - 23
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PET Food Processing - September 2021 - 26
PET Food Processing - September 2021 - 27
PET Food Processing - September 2021 - 28
PET Food Processing - September 2021 - 29
PET Food Processing - September 2021 - 30
PET Food Processing - September 2021 - 31
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PET Food Processing - September 2021 - 73
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PET Food Processing - September 2021 - 78
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PET Food Processing - September 2021 - 81
PET Food Processing - September 2021 - 82
PET Food Processing - September 2021 - 83
PET Food Processing - September 2021 - 84
https://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/pet-food-processing-september-2021
https://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/pet-food-processing-june-2021
https://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/pet-food-processing-march-2021
https://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2020_12_01
https://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2020_10_01
https://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2020_09_01
https://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2020_06_01
https://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2020_03_01
https://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2019_12_01
https://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2019_10_01
https://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2019_09_01
https://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2019_06_01
https://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2019_03_01
https://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2018_12_01
https://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2018_09_01
https://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2018_06_01
https://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2018_03_01
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