The aluminium used beverage can (UBC) is the world’s most recycled packaging item, with consistently high recycling rates. Brazil, with a recycling rate of 98%, is currently the world leader and provides a glimpse of what can be achieved in South Africa in the future.
The major driver of the high UBC recycling rate is the intrinsic value of aluminium; an empty can is worth between 5c and 10c in South African currency. This makes it the most valuable packaging type in the waste and scrap stream, and consequently valuable for formal and informal waste collectors. Aluminium UBC recycling has the potential to contribute to much needed job creation as it has done in Brazil, where the average informal waste collector earns more than the Brazilian minimum wage.
Hulamin recycles used beverage cans at its recycling operation in Pietermaritzburg, where we have commissioned a major expansion of our recycling capacity. This R300 million investment project includes the installation of a new UBC processing and cleaning line and a recycling furnace.
We buy used aluminium cans that have been sorted and compacted to a specification suitable for processing at our recycling facility. These UBCs are then processed in the most technologically advanced UBC cleaning line in the country to remove dust, sand, stones, plastic straws, steel cans and other contaminants.
The recycled aluminium is used to make the aluminium sheet needed to manufacture new beverage cans.
If you would like to become a supplier of UBC to Hulamin, please read the FAQ section which explains the supply chain opportunities and process to be followed.