More Than 1 Trillion Aluminum Cans Have Not Been Recycled

Arlington, Va. — The Container Recycling Institute (CRI), a nonprofit organization based in Arlington, Va., estimates that more than 1 trillion aluminum cans have been thrown in the trash since 1972, when the waste industry began keeping records. According to CRI, the discarded cans would reach 76 million miles, a distance equivalent to 158 round trips to the moon, if placed end to end.

CRI also announced that just 44 percent of the aluminum cans that were sold in 2003 were recycled. That figure marks the lowest recycling rate since 1980.