- Aluminum recycler Novelis Inc. has teamed up with Discovery Education to launch a new program called "Life of a Can - A Never Ending Story" for upper elementary students.
- The program focuses on aluminum recycling through lessons which can be integrated into curriculum on a range of topics. A downloadable toolkit allows students to create their own recycling programs in the classroom.
- Resources for home activities are also included to help initiate family discussions about recycling and energy usage.
Novelis reportedly recycles more than 60 billion aluminum cans per year, yet an estimated $1.5 billion worth of material is still being sent to landfills. The company reached a 49% recycled material input in the 2015 fiscal year, and has more than doubled its recycling capacity, but more can still be done.
A recent study by the Sustainable Packaging Coalition found that more than 90% of U.S. residents have access to some form of aluminum recycling program. Though The Aluminum Association's latest data shows that the percentage of aluminum cans collected in 2015 took a dip to 64%.
Finding ways to increase diversion for a common material that has a clear secondary market could be beneficial for recyclers and schools alike. Other programs — such as Keep America Beautiful's annual Recycle-Bowl — are also a good way to instill these habits in children from a young age, and perhaps even more importantly inspire their parents to do the same.