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In Europe, aluminium and steel are used as materials for beverage cans. Cans have undergone considerable lightweighting programmes in recent years and today are more than 40% lighter than they were in 1970.
Forty years ago a can weighed around 80 grams, today a 330ml steel can weighs around 21 grams and an aluminium can may weigh as little as 10 grams. As a result the industry can produce almost three times as many cans using the same amount of metal as 30 years ago.
Lighter cans also means that many more can be transported on one truck, making for less energy use and reduced emissions.
Beverage cans are the most recycled beverage containers globally. In the EU15, the recycling rate of steel packaging is over 70% and the recycling and use of recycled content in cans saves us to 95% of the energy used for the production of virgin materials.
In the EU15 the recycling rate of steel packaging was 69% in 2007. The recycling and use of recycled content in cans saves up to 95% of the energy used for production of virgin materials.