The volume of steel cans recycled in Brazil increased by nearly four-fifths in the first quarter of 2022, reports local can recycling organisation Prolata Recycling.

Prolata Recycling revealed that Brazilian manufacturers and consumers had recycled 16,013 tons of steel cans between January and March, an increase of 79 per cent compared with the previous quarter. The announcement came at an event marking the industry group’s 10th anniversary.

The non-profit organisation said the rise was backed by more manufacturers and retailers joining its scheme and an increase in the number of can recycling deposit sites available to consumers.

Demand for recycled metal is outstripping supply and industry-wide attempts to boost recycling rates were highlighted earlier this month when Novelis announced its plans to build a US$2.5 billion low-carbon aluminium recycling and rolling facility in the US.

The canstock manufacturer, which recently reported a 40 per cent year-on-year surge in sales to $17.1bn for the fiscal year ended in March, said the Alabama site will have the capacity to recycle as many as 16 billon used beverage cans per year.

Novelis also had a strong fourth quarter, with sales up a record 34 per cent to $4.8bn. The company said profit had been spurred by higher prices for aluminium and record shipment levels amid sustained demand for aluminium beverage cans.

Manufacturers are clamouring for recycled rather than virgin metals because post-consumer materials require less energy to produce. That enables companies such as canmakers to report better ESG metrics to consumers, investors and regulators.