Aluminium Drink Cans Recycling Hits Record High in Ireland

The official recycling rate for aluminium drink cans consumed in Ireland has jumped from 54% in 2016 to 73% in 2017.

Today Repak, Ireland’s only government-approved packaging recycling scheme announced that more than 7 out of 10 aluminium drink cans sold and consumed in Ireland in 2017 were collected for recycling. The 7,297 tonnes collected for recycling last year is the highest rate of aluminium can recycling since Repak began recording data in 2006.

The data, provided to Repak by both its members and registered packaging collectors and recyclers, shows that overall tonnage of aluminium packaging collected for recycling in 2017 has grown by over 50% compared to 2016 (4,728 tonnes to 7,297 tonnes).

The news comes as Alupro Ireland, the not-for-profit company who develop and run the programme Every Can Counts, received a finalist nomination at the prestigious Pakman Awards, a national recycling awards powered by Repak. The awards will be held in the Intercontinental Hotel on October 25th, with Alupro Ireland nominated in the Environmental Education and Awareness Initiative category.

Last year saw the relaunch of the Every Can Counts’ drinks can recycling programme in Ireland. The programme, managed by Alupro Ireland and funded by the aluminium suppliers, drinks can manufacturers and Repak, enables people to recycle drink cans when outside the home. The programme is currently working in partnership with Ireland’s major music festivals to encourage festival goers to recycle the high volume of cans consumed at the events.

Every Can Counts is a unique partnership between the can makers and the recycling industry.  They have come together to establish a successful ‘on the go’ recycling programme across Ireland.  Every Can Counts has increased can recycling points across the country in sports clubs, tourist attractions, hospitals, universities, and organisations of all kinds.  The programme went on tour this summer and was found at all the major festivals rewarding positive recycling behaviour, providing additional can recycling facilities, and passing on a message that lives long beyond any festival.

Every Can Count’s presence at festivals and events led to the collection of over 57700 cans last year.

Commenting on the recycling rates and nomination, Repak’s CEO, Seamus Clancy, said “It is fantastic to see aluminium drink can recycling rates taking such a significant jump in just one year – and the highest level on record. The challenge is to help consumers to recognise aluminium packaging as an extremely cost-effective material to recycle, through education and effective communications, and Alupro Ireland’s nomination for a Pakman Awards demonstrates the effectiveness of its campaigns and highlights the excellent results that have helped increase Ireland’s aluminium recycling rates.”

The most significant factor contributing to this impressive increase is the inclusion, for the first time, of the aluminium drink cans recovered from the incinerator bottom ash (IBA) derived largely from the new Poolbeg Waste to Energy Facility which opened last year.  Recycling aluminium, compared to producing it from primary material, saves 95% of the energy and reduces CO2 emissions by up to 97%.   The valuable aluminium cans recovered from the IBA are then recycled into new aluminium products.

The Repak data also reveals more good news – kerbside collections of used aluminium packaging grew by 6% and collections through bring banks grew by 2%.

Maarten Labberton, Chairman of Alupro Ireland commented “This is excellent news, and we will always prioritise the separate collection of clean aluminium packaging from households and on-the-go. However, if aluminium packaging makes its way into household rubbish, almost uniquely it can now be recovered and recycled into new high value products.”

Tidy Towns and Every Can Counts Want You to Can It!



Every Can Counts is delighted to sponsor a special award in the Super Valu Tidy Towns competition for the 11th consecutive year.

The Can It! Award encourages groups to put their creative caps on and up-cycle used beverage cans into a piece of art, fashion, or a useful tool.  The possibilities are as endless as your imaginations.

Most drinks cans are made from thin sheets of aluminium which is lightweight and highly flexible, the ideal material for a community craft project.  If you need inspiration just look to the work of past winners.  We’ve received murals for bring banks, windmills, dresses, and lifetime bouquets.  All pieces are timeless as metal recycles forever, as the award perfectly demonstrates.

Every Can Counts continues to work with Tidy Towns groups to identify organisations in their community who could boost their can recycling, and having a presence at local festivals/events.

The Super Valu Tidy Towns empowers communities, and demonstrates how we can greatly benefit our towns, villages, and cities when we come together.  Every Can Counts is continually inspired by the incredible work of groups we meet across the country.

The national competition is entering its 60th year and was launched by Minister Michael Ring on the 28th of March, entrants can download applications forms here.

Entry forms for the Can It! Award can be downloaded from here CANIT!Competition2018

To view all the special awards for the Super Valu Tidy Towns competition for 2018 you can do so here

To work with Every Can Counts to increase the beverage can recycling in your community we’d love to hear from you, please email

We look forward to seeing what wonders you create in the 60th year of this great competition.

Every Can Counts Expands in Ireland

Every Can Counts Expands in Ireland

The Every Can Counts programme is expanding across the nation and there was no better place to start than at this year’s Electric Picnic.  The campaign aims to boost the recycling of drink cans whilst people are away from the home, and thanks to the additional funding from Repak, Every Can Counts will be found at more events than ever before!

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Encouraging recycling across Europe

On the go, on-line, encouraging recycling across Europe

Recycling fans across Europe were united in their enthusiasm for drinks can recycling this summer, helping Every Can Counts reach more consumers than ever before through their activities at beaches, tourist attractions, shopping centres and music festivals.  The fun also worked on-line thanks to a new game, which encouraged users of social media across Europe to learn more about recycling while collecting ‘virtual’ cans against the clock.

Hosted on Facebook, the aim of the #OlympiCAN game was to engage with online audiences across nine European countries, including Ireland.  The game had a sporting theme and tasked the players to sprint along a running track jumping hurdles and collecting as many empty drinks cans as possible within 60 seconds, earning points for every can recycled. Players who scored 1000 points or more were able to enter a prize draw to win a national prize of €150 of Amazon voucher. In every country players recording more than 2000 points qualified for the main European draw, for the chance to win a shiny aluminium bicycle, made from 800 recycled aluminium beverage cans. Regular updates and a weekly competition ‘leaderboard’ ensured the competition remained strong for a total of six weeks.

The game resulted in a huge boost in online engagement for each country and significantly increasing awareness of the Every Can Counts message. Over 20,000 players took part across Europe, reaching an online audience of over 2 million people  and attracting over 5,000 new ECC page ‘likes’ on Facebook. In Ireland we managed to have a social reach of nearly 140,000 and a social engagement level of over 1,300.

The lucky winner of the ‘Ricicletta’ aluminium bicycle was student Katarina Hadzic, aged 20, from Zrenjanin, Montenegro, pictured here with Every Can Counts programme manager Jelena Kis.  In Ireland the national prize winner was Fiona Cronin, who received the Amazon vouchers.

Every Can Counts Brand Manager Jonathan Easthope said “Once again Every Can Counts has had a very busy summer encouraging people at a wide variety of events across the UK, and Europe to recycle their drink cans and give them another life.  The OlympiCAN game not only supported our summer events programme in each country, it brought a new dimension to our marketing communications and helped us reach new consumers with our important message about the need to recycle cans whenever and wherever possible.”

The OlympiCAN game was the result of co-operation across the European Every Can Counts network. It was developed and project managed by digital marketing agency UCME, based in Thessaloniki, Greece, with help from the local Every Can Counts team and Alupro in the UK. The ‘Ricicletta’ bike is made in Italy under licence from CiAL, the Italian Consortium for the Recovery and Recycling of Aluminium.


Summer of sport is the focus of new online game

Drinks can recycling programme Every Can Counts has launched a new online game to get users of social media across Europe to think more about recycling.

Hosted on Facebook, the #OlympiCAN game aims to engage with online audiences across nine European countries, including Ireland.

The new game has a sporting theme and tasks players to sprint along a running track jumping hurdles and collecting as many empty drinks cans as possible within 60 seconds, collecting points for every can recycled. Players who score 1000 points or more are then entered into a prize draw to win a national prize. In Ireland the winner will receive €150 Amazon vouchers.  Across Europe those scoring over 2000 qualify for a further prize draw for a chance to win a ‘Ricicletta’ bicycle made of 800 recycled aluminium beverage cans.

The OlympiCAN game is the result of co-operation across the European Every Can Counts recycling network. It has been developed and project managed by digital marketing agency UCME, based in Greece, with help from Every Can Counts team and Alupro in the UK. The ‘Ricicletta’ bike is made in Italy under licence from CiAL, the Italian Consortium for the Recovery and Recycling of Aluminium – sister organisation to Every Can Counts project manager Alupro.

Jonathan Easthope,  Every Can Counts brand manager in the UK, says: “Earlier this year our Can Dunk game achieved high levels of engagement across Europe and provided a great springboard for the national Every Can Counts programmes to promote their activities to a wide audience of consumers.  The sporting theme of the new #OlympiCAN game means we can link it to the outdoor events we all attend throughout the summer across Europe to promote recycling ‘on the go’ – and it’s already getting some great results. ”

Every Can Counts #OlympiCAN is available on Facebook and open for entries until 26th August.