When you look at the list of ingredients of a tin of pet food or baked beans you’ll be missing a part of the whole story — the can itself. To make a tonne (1,000 kg or 2,204 lbs) of steel, you need more than 1131 kg of iron ore, 633 kg of coal and 54 kg of limestone, not mention the energy, which would be 75% less, if using recycled feed stock. Such resources are squandered if we don’t recycle the steel can. CanSmart is an Australian initiative to increase the level of cans collected from households for recycling. Currently the rate is about 44% but this is well below industry leader Luxemborg, where they manage a very impressive 93%. About 15,000 used cans will produce a tonne of new steel, yet Australians are sending off to landfill enough cans to make 40,000 new refrigerators. These figures come from CanSmart’s website, which has information for all, from school kids through households to industry. ::CanSmart

2014 Gift Guide