Environment Secretary asks Scotland’s Businesses to ‘make every can count’

Drinks can recycling programme Every Can Counts launched in Scotland today (26th November) to help businesses make sure recycling is in the can.

In Scotland, an estimated 252 million drinks cans are consumed per year outside the home, either ‘on the go’ or by employees in the workplace . Every Can Counts estimates that an organisation of 50 employees could recycle 3,000 drinks cans per year by making recycling part of their everyday routine2.

Every Can Counts has been developed by the drinks can manufacturing and recycling industry. Its launch in Scotland is supported by the Scottish Government’s delivery partner, Zero Waste Scotland, and A.G. Barr. It marks a three-year commitment to drive up recycling rates within the workplace.

The organisations have joined forces with Every Can Counts to spearhead workplace recycling ahead of the new Waste (Scotland) Regulations which come into force in January 2014 and will require all businesses to separate paper and card, plastic, metal and glass for recycling.

Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said: “Making one drinks can from raw materials uses the same amount of energy as it takes to make 20 cans through recycling. Recycling cans gives our economy a boost through access to a good supply of metal; recycling waste is generally cheaper for organisations than sending it to landfill, which also helps to tackle climate change.

“Recycling at work and while we are on the go will help to meet Scotland’s ambitions targets to recycle 70 per cent of all waste by 2025. To support this, the Waste (Scotland) Regulations require all businesses to separate dry materials by January 2014.”

Andrew McFarlan, Programme Manager Scotland, Every Can Counts said; “It makes good business sense for workplaces to get in the habit of drinks can recycling. With the launch of this new partnership in Scotland it’s now easier than ever to provide employees with facilities such as recycling bins, posters and leaflets to recycle. It also allows businesses to bolster their environmental credentials and demonstrate a clear commitment to reducing waste. With Every Can Counts businesses can be up and running within five days – it’s that simple.”

Jonathan Kemp, Commercial Director, A.G. Barr said: “Recycling and re-using packaging have always been important issues at A.G.Barr and we are committed to doing what we can to encourage everyone to dispose of products and packaging responsibly. We are supporting Every Can Counts because we share their aims of reducing waste and re-using and recycling more. The Every Can Counts scheme makes it simple and easy for people to recycle more drinks cans at work and whilst on the go. It will also help contribute towards achieving the Scottish Government’s national recycling target.”

Iain Gulland, Director of Zero Waste Scotland, added: “Ensuring businesses are informed about the new regulatory requirements for recycling, and ready to comply and reap the associated benefits, is a key focus for us next year. We will be actively engaging with businesses across the country, and providing a variety of support and guidance, to do this.

“We already work with local authorities to help them drive up householder recycling rates, using tools including Recycle for Scotland – a brand which, like Every Can Counts, has galvanised support from UK retailers. We will be rolling this out in Scottish workplaces too, and Every Can Counts is a perfect complement to that. Increasing our can recycling rates holds both environmental and economic benefits, and it’s fantastic to see the recycling industry driving this forward with our support.”

Every Can Counts helps employers with setting up and promoting drinks can recycling within their organisation and is designed to complement existing recycling facilities or as a stand-alone scheme.

Since launching in the UK three years ago, the programme has so far helped businesses save over 75 million drink cans (1138 tonnes of aluminium and steel)3 for recycling and avoiding 8,529 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions4.

As an added incentive Every Can Counts are offering the first 100 businesses to sign up to the programme in Scotland a free starter pack, advice and resources to introduce and promote recycling facilities to their workplaces.