WASHINGTON — The aluminum can recycling rate rose three percentage points, to 66.5 percent, in 1997, industry officials announced March 6. The industry collected 66.8 billion cans for recycling.
The Washington-based Aluminum Association also said the cans had a 54.7 percent recycled-content rate, up from 51.6 percent in 1996.
``This outstanding growth, both in volume and percentage terms, can be attributed to the unmatched economic and environmental benefits of aluminum can recycling,'' said Richard Evans, chairman of the Aluminum Association and president of Alcan Aluminum Corp.
The aluminum industry is hoping an advertising campaign will help it boost that recycling rate to 75 percent.
The recycling rate for all plastic bottles in 1996 was 25 percent, down from 26.1 percent in 1995, according to the most recent figures from the American Plastics Council, a Washington-based trade association.
The recycling rate for PET soft drink bottles, a mainstay of plastics recycling, was 38.6 percent in 1996, down from 46.1 percent a year earlier.