Read the full story at Craft Brewing Business.
It’s now been 20 years since the arrival of canned craft beer. I know because I helped launch it as lead singer/idea man for (at the time) little Oskar Blues Brewery and Pub in Lyons, Colorado. But two decades into craft beer smashing its glass-bottled ceiling, there’s a hefty shortcoming in the success of canned beer. Sadly, craft brewers bear much of the responsibility for it.
What’s the problem? The recycling rates for aluminum cans stink. Colorado’s recycling experts recently marked Recycling Day with an embarrassing statistic: Just 16 percent of aluminum cans are recycled in the state where canned craft beer began. Nationwide only about half of all aluminum cans are recycled.
How are craft brewers contributing to the problem? For starters, the recycling messages championed by the first wave of micro-canners have faded or disappeared entirely. An astonishing number of today’s craft beer cans — especially those from smaller breweries — include no recycling symbol or message on their cans. Nothing. Many of those that include such a message do so in the can’s tiniest, magnifying-glass-required font with an equally miniscule arrowed triangle.