Aluminum Recycling: Brazil Remains the World-Leader

Aluminum recycling in Brazil is highly effective and virtually all scrap available is recycled.

In 2014, Brazil recycled 540,000 tons of aluminum. “The relationship between this volume and the domestic consumption of aluminum indicates a percentage of 35.2 percent, which exceeds the world average of 29.9 percent (2011 basis)”, the Brazilian Aluminum Association (ABAL) reported. “Of this total, 289,000 tons refer to scrap from aluminum beverage cans that correspond to 98.4 percent of the total packaging consumed in 2014, a figure that has placed Brazil in the position of world-leader since 2001.” According to data of ABAL and the Brazilian Association of Highly Recyclable Cans Manufacturers (ABRALATAS), 22.9 billion of packs were recycled last year, which corresponds to 62.7 million per day or 2.6 million per hour. Pindamonhangaba, a city located in the countryside of São Paulo, is the national capital for aluminum recycling. As reported, ABAL granted the city this award in 2003, in recognition of its remarkable role on behalf of the activity. On the occasion, an aluminum-made sculpture was presented to the city, representing the international aluminum recycling symbol. The work by sculptor Hans Goldammer was made from aluminum plate and is installed at the entrance to the city, alongside the Dutra Highway (linking São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro).

Today, recycling companies headquartered in Pindamonhangaba have the capacity to process nearly 70 percent of all scrap recovered in Brazil. The choice of companies was among other factors, due to the prime location of the city, nestled between the two largest cities in Brazil, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, and due to the infrastructure offered by the municipality, which has invested heavily in industrial expansion.

Photo: DAVR