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Recyclability of Plastic-Labeled Cans
Wednesday, December 11, 2019, 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM MDT
Category: Recycle Colorado Event

This round-table conference call brings together industry stakeholders to address the emerging issue of plastic-labeled cans. We will discuss and brainstorm market-wise solutions that improve the recyclability of the labeled can.

Shrink-wrap and pressure-sensitive labels on aluminum cans affect both recycling centers and buyers of recycled aluminum.

Issues at the Recycling Center: The plastic labels affixed to cans are getting sorted as plastic instead of aluminum at recycling centers, creating contamination issues (aluminum in the plastic bale) as well as a reduction of recovered aluminum. Both scenarios have negative financial impacts.

Issues with Buyers of Used Beverage Cans…aka Aluminum Buyers: Plastic labels get tangled in the shredding process and can damage equipment. Plastic can also cause furnace fires during the delaq process and during the vacuum/filtering process. For these reasons, ISRI (Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries) specifies that recycled UBC (used beverage cans) “must be magnetically separated and free of steel, plastic, glass, dirt and all other foreign substances.” In other words, there is no tolerance for plastic labels. Aluminum buyers also cite the financial burden of paying aluminum prices for plastic.


  • Wendy Fauth, GFL Environmental Inc.
  • Chip Lavigne, Allan Company
  • Nick Mize, Novelis
  • Michael Kirk, Alcoa
  • Ken Martchek, Aluminum Association
  • Kyle Strenski, UPM Raflatac
  • Matthew Thomas, Multi-Color Corporation

Conference Call (Call-in information provided upon RSVP)

Contact Recycle Colorado Senior Director Laura Levesque.