You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myAJC.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myAJC.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myAJC.com.

Novelis touts ‘evercans’ for repeat use


Last year, Atlanta aluminum manufacturer Novelis, which produces beverage cans for everyone from Coca-Cola to Budweiser, kept more than 40 billion beverage cans out of landfills globally by buying them back for recycling.

Now the company is kicking up the effort a notch with a product it calls evercan — a drink can designed to have a longer “shelf life” than the typical recyclable can.

Leaders say evercan is made up of at least 90 percent recycled materials — one of the highest proportions in the aluminum industry — and can be reused over and over because the packaging breaks down easier because of the concentration of the components.

“It’s a process we can do infinitely,” John Gardner, Novelis’ Chief Sustainability Officer, said of recycling the can. “We just take off the lacquers and melt down the metals.”

Recycling is important to Novelis. An almost decades-long glut of aluminum has kept supplies around the world high and prices low. Falling interest in canned soft drinks also is taking a bite out of growth, with a reported 2 percent to 4 percent decline in demand for cans in North America this year.

That makes cutting costs by reusing the cheaper recycled material all the more important. Novelis said it has spent about $500 million over the last two years in an effort to double its global recycling capacity to 2.1 million metric tons by 2015.

The company added that recycling aluminum requires 95 percent less energy, and produces 95 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than manufacturing from raw materials.

By 2020 the company, which gets its recycled materials from about 15,000 suppliers around the world, wants 80 percent of its aluminum supply to come from recyclables.

“We pay communities a lot of money for scrap,” Gardner said. “This makes good sense economically and environmentally.”

Novelis competitor Alcoa also has made a commitment to increasing recyclables in its cans, but only Novelis has so far created a product almost entirely made from recycled material across an entire product line, said Conrad MacKerron, senior vice president for California-based environmental group As You Sow.

“I really think this is a game changer,” MacKerron said. “This is environmental leadership and should be commended.”

It’s particularly significant because companies increasingly are focusing their environmental efforts on water stewardship and reducing their carbon footprint instead of improving recycling technology, McKerron said. Several environmental groups, for instance, have launched an effort to get food giant Kraft to change the packaging of its popular Capri Sun juices, whose aluminum and plastic packaging they claim is difficult to recycle and ends up littering landfills.

Novelis has partnered with Marietta’s Red Hare Brewing Company as the first user of evercan, a relationship Red Hare founder and Chief Executive Officer Roger Davis said was symbiotic. Three-year-old Red Hare, the third fastest-growing brewery in Georgia, has made recycling part of its business practice, including using recyclable cans, recycling cardboard boxes and donating grain left over from its manufacturing process to a local pig farmer.

“Evercan fits into what we do,” Davis said. “It’s recyclable and the packaging has the portability we were looking for.”


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

Phone fingerprint sensor not as safe as you think
Phone fingerprint sensor not as safe as you think

Fingerprint sensors have turned modern smartphones into miracles of convenience. A touch of a finger unlocks the phone — no password required. With services like Apple Pay or Android Pay, a fingerprint can buy a bag of groceries, a new laptop or even a $1 million vintage Aston Martin. And pressing a finger inside a banking app allows the user...
Report: Yik Yak sells some assets to Square
Report: Yik Yak sells some assets to Square

Yik Yak, the Atlanta-based social network that burst onto the scene in 2013 but was hurt by concerns about how its app was used, has sold its engineering team to Square Inc., according to a Bloomberg report. The business news service, citing unnamed people familiar with the matter, said Square paid less than $3 million for between five and ten of Yik...
Another passenger accuses United of seat removal; files lawsuit
Another passenger accuses United of seat removal; files lawsuit

United Airlines has another passenger complaint to deal with — this time in court. Karen Shiboleth claims she was forced out of her business-class seat during a flight to London from Newark, New Jersey, in September and escorted to the rear of the plane without an explanation. She sued the airline Monday, claiming she's out $9,146 in fees...
For metro Atlanta sellers, home season starts on high note
For metro Atlanta sellers, home season starts on high note

Home sellers can rejoice: Atlanta’s spring buying season started in March with a jump from last year in the price of homes sold. The median price of a home sold last month was $220,000 – up 10.6 percent from the same month a year ago — with the number of sales increasingly modestly, according to a report issued Friday by Re/Max of...
Lawyer for United passenger now represents passenger in American Airlines incident
Lawyer for United passenger now represents passenger in American Airlines incident

The lawyer representing the man who was video recorded being dragged off a United Airlines flight is now representing the mother who was involved in another incident — this one aboard an American Airlines flight.In an appearance on the "Today Show," Thomas Demetrio said he was contacted by the mother who was recorded on video crying...
More Stories