While the aluminum can has been around for nearly fifty years in various places around the world, we in Brazil only adopted this innovation 25 years ago. And we believe it’s an anniversary worth celebrating. I’ll tell you why.
With the fifth largest population in the world, Brazil is home to more than 200 million people, and more than 20 million of whom live in São Paulo. We are also home to more than 145,000 plant and organism species that live in the Amazon Rainforest. Brazil is a thriving nation with a rapidly evolving economy, but with that comes certain responsibilities, for our communities, our natural resources and our environment.
With the support of the Brazilian Ministry of Culture, Novelis decided to help celebrate the 25th birthday of the aluminum can by drawing attention to one very important trait – its infinite recyclability. In a month-long event called Reciclalata, Novelis helped make the aluminum can larger than life for the people of São Paulo.
Even though aluminum cans are one of the most commonly used forms of packaging in Brazil today, many Brazilians are unaware of the benefits of recycling those cans. In reality, recycling aluminum saves 95% of the energy and greenhouse gas emissions associated with the production of primary aluminum, and beverage can recycling generates income for thousands of Brazilians. In fact, Brazil boasts an impressive 98% recycling rate for used beverage cans because recycling cans is so economical.
So, we partnered with 15 different artists to design giant, nearly 2 meters tall, can sculptures to be exhibited around the city of São Paulo from June 10 – July 10. The goal? To draw attention to the aluminum can and highlight the importance of responsible consumption and recycling. And of course, to celebrate a birthday.
And it worked. Thousands stopped in shopping malls, subway stations, parks, airports and elsewhere around this sprawling metropolis to inquire about the sculptures and what they meant. One of the most common reactions people had to these larger-than-life aluminum cans was to hug them… and I believe Brazil’s aluminum cans have earned it.