Showa Denko group employees collected more than 4m cans in 2019

Employees in Japan’s Showa Denko Group (SDK), of which canmaker Showa Aluminum Can Corporation is a part, collected around 4.43 million aluminium cans in the year to the end of March for recycling.

SDK has an in-house programme to educate its 8,000 employees about the benefits of aluminium can recycling and “officially commends workplaces and individual employees in accordance with employees’ participation rate or volume of collected cans, aiming to vitalise the recycling activity”.

The cans are bought by the group and the aluminium eventually used by Showa Aluminum Can Corporation to produce aluminium beverage cans. According to the Japan Aluminum Can Recycling Association, the 4.43 million cans collected in 2019 are estimated to have weighed 67.8 tons using an average can weight of 15.3 grams.

SDK’s position on the recycling of aluminium cans is that it contributes to the promotion of efficient use of resources, and reduces electricity consumed to produce aluminium by 97 per cent, compared to the process in which aluminium is produced from bauxite ore.

The Group says that it donates the money resulting from the recycling activity to regional councils of social welfare, welfare facilities, and volunteer groups that aid people with special needs. “Thus, this activity has been firmly established as a social action of the Showa Denko Group,” it adds.

Showa Aluminum Can Corporation, a subsidiary of SDK with canmaking plants in Japan and Vietnam, started recycling aluminium cans after its formation in 1972. This spread across the Showa Denko Group in 2001, and continues today.