RECAL - Foundation for Recovery of Aluminium Beverage Cans
RECAL was formed in 1995 as an initiative of drink cans producers: Continental Can Polska (current Ardagh Metal Beverage Radomsko) and PLM AB Mallmo (current Ball Packaging Europe), as well as five manufacturers of aluminium: Alcan, Aluminium Company of America, Pechiney Rhenalu, Reynolds (Aluminium) and VAW Aluminium. Currently the Foundation's activities are supported by Ardagh Metal Beverage Radomsko, European Aluminium, National Chmber of Commerce and two packaging recovery organizations: "recan" and Rekopol.
Thanks to the presence and activity of the RECAL Foundation on the Polish recycling market and the actions undertaken by the Foundation the level of recycling of aluminium cans grew up from 2 percent in 1995 to 80 percent in 2015. The Foundation prepares and initiates educational ecological programmes in educational organizations (schools) as well as municipal authorites by:
- organization of seminars and conferences about recycling,
- campaigns, programmes and the educational workshops for children, students as well as adults,
- co-operation with media.
Recycling of aluminium cans
Consumers in Poland, like the rest of the world, frequently buy canned beverages. This is because of the advantages of canned beverages: visually attractive, light, do not break and also allow the drink to quickly. Aluminium beverage cans are entirely recyclable. Recycling of aluminium is infinite and does not cause the loss of quality of the metal. We call this "permanent material". Non-permanent materials, on the other hand, can only be recycled a few times before spiralling to end of life.
Co-operation with kindregartens and schools (on different levels)
The basis for this co-operation is The School and Kindergarten Recycling Projects Programme. In 1996 we prepared a School Package, in 2000 materials for Kindergartens and in 2008 we prepared a College Pack. It is a free-of-charge package with educational materials which is being sent to schools after receiving the application form from teachers. The educational materials help teachers to organize workshops about recycling. The students receive colourful and transparent charts about aluminium and its recycling. While schools receive containers and bags for the collection of cans as well as magnets to recognize alu-cans. By the end of the school year we ask the kindergartens and schools to inform us about their achievements.
From the beginning of activity of the RECAL Foundation we have distributed over 10,000 educational packages.
"Summer campaigns" - recycling education
Holiday time is a perfect moment to undertake educational campaigns, which are an excellent supplement to the school-year environmental education. Currently we organize three holiday campaigns for recycling education. These are:
- Campaign "Clean Beaches"
- Campaign "Clean Mountains"
- Campaign "Clean Lakes"
The holiday campaigns are being financed by "recan" and Rekopol Packaging Recovery Organizations as well as local authorities.
The most important goals of the campaigns are:
- recycling education on several issues and in particular to achieve the habit of waste segregation,
- promote selective segregation of wastes and recycling of aluminium cans as well as other recyclable materials,
- improvement of cleanliness of areas where campaigns are being held,
- relief to the local waste dumps by intensive segregation of recyclable waste,
- promotione to local government which takes care of the environment and its ecological image.
The summer campaigns are being directed to:
- children and students (including summer camps),
- local communities,
- recyclable waste purchase points,
- local councils,
- non - governmental organizations,
The target group of the campaigns are mostly children and students between 8 and 17 years old, spending holidays in organized guided groups (summer camps). This groups are particularly important audience of the campaign, because the habit of recycling and selective segregation of waste should be learned in early childhood.
This is the basic form of the children's and students' education and the educational workshops undertaken on summer camps. For these organized guided groups RECAL has prepared a special package which combines education and fun. During previous editions (until 2015) we made close to 5,000 educational workshops and the total participants was over 200,000 children and students.
"Silver Can" competition
The "Silver Can" competition is directed at the institutions which undertake selective segregation of aluminium cans, ecological education in segregation and recycling of alu-cans. The competition is a part of the "Recycling Cup".
Various organizations which develop local selective segregation of wastes can take part in the "Silver Can" competition, which develop local selective segregation of wastes. Among these organizations there are administrative districts, waste disposal companies, non - governmental organizations and even whole regions organized into unions.
Project "Cans for balls"
The idea of the "Cans for balls" Project is to initiate public awareness raising and education activities in conjunction with each other and the sustainable development of society, sports and natural resources. The Project is jointly implemented with the Ministry of Sport and Tourism, mainly on the "Orlik’s" multisport fields as well as other sports facilities.
RECAL Foundation has prepared and delivered special containers for cans collection to selected sports facilities, including "Orlik’s", special containers for cans collection. RECAL provides a visually attractive boards informing about the Project's objectives and the benefits of recycling. There is also an additional incentive for people regularly visiting the “Orlik’s” and bringing used beverage cans (UBC). The more UBC is collected in containers, the higher support will the “Orlik” will receive. Money from the sale of UBC supports the purchase of sports equipment. The proposal assumes that for every 15 kg of UBCs collected (1 kg is about 60 cans), the sports facility will receive one high quality ball for football, volleyball or basketball. Currently the Project is deployed in more than 100 sports fields and 11 Logistics Partners. More information about "Cans for balls" on: www.pilkizapuszki.pl (available only in Polish).