Adding Recycling to Recipes

PITTSBURGH, Pa (April 21, 2010) - While enjoying the highest recycling rate of any food package, nearly 35 percent of steel cans are still trashed-rather than recycled-in kitchens across the U.S. As a result, the Canned Food Alliance is reminding consumers to add recycling to the recipe.

Steel food cans are at a landmark year. The food can is celebrating its 200th anniversary, it is the most recycled food container, and consumers are more conscious of recycling in the wake of April being National Recycling Month and the 40th anniversary of Earth Day.

The Canned Food Alliance provides consumers with recipes and resources to inform them of how nutrition and convenience contributes to the overall value of canned food. The Alliance is also reminding consumers of the immediate and long-term value of simply recycling their empty food cans.  Recycling steel cans diverts cans from landfills and saves energy and natural resources.

"Recycling food cans should be part of any recipe that calls for canned food," said Rich Tavoletti, executive director of the Canned Food Alliance.  "Purchasing foods packaged in cans is a safe, convenient and environmentally-friendly way to deliver a nutritious meal."

Steel food cans are accepted in more than 7,500 curbside recycling programs in the U.S., covering more than 150 million Americans and are magnetically separated from other materials for recycling.  Steel cans are completely recyclable and each can contains a minimum of 25 percent recycled content.

Recycling is an important consideration as canned food remains a staple in consumers' pantries and in many popular recipes. As time-stressed Moms are looking for an easier way to put nutritious meals on the family table, the more than 18 billion steel cans produced each year, provide a valuable solution. 

Many varieties of canned food including fruits, vegetables, beans, soup, chili and seafood offer tremendous value to the consumer by combining nutrition with ease of preparation, convenient sizes, pre-cut and pre-cooked options and year-round availability, all in a recyclable package.

As demand for food and beverage packaging is anticipated to climb towards 300 billion containers by 2013, it is essential to make sure that recycling is integrated into the use phase of this growing consumption. To identify local steel can recycling options, please visit the Steel Recycling Institute's Steel Recycling Database, which is available at