Alcoa Introduces "Pass the Can" Facebook App; Players Use Social Network to Drive Aluminum Recycling

Alcoa Introduces "Pass the Can" Facebook App; Players Use Social Network to Drive Aluminum Recycling and Environmental Stewardship

Alcoa Foundation to donate $1 each time user passes the can to friend, benefiting nonprofit organizations

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Alcoa (NYS: AA) introduced a new Facebook app today that engages and educates users about aluminum recycling in a fun way and leverages their social network to encourage their friends to act.

In "Pass the Can", players crush a virtual aluminum can, pass it to Facebook friends, and at the same time encourage real-world recycling and contribute to a 'green' cause.

Each time a can is 'passed' through the app to a friend, Alcoa Foundation will donate $1 (up to US $75,000) to recycling efforts led by three leading conservation non-profit organizations: Keep America Beautiful in the U.S., Planet Ark in Australia and the International Union for Conservation of Nature in Europe. In addition, each time a can reaches a new level of intercantinental travel, the player is awarded a badge with aluminum recycling facts to share with friends.

"'Pass the Can' is a fun way for Facebook users to make a big impact on real-world aluminum recycling and help increase the can recycling rate," said Beth Schmitt, Director of Recycling Programs for Alcoa.

Alcoa has a goal to help the U.S. raise its recycling rate for aluminum beverage cans to 75 percent by 2015. In 2011, the U.S. recycling rate rose to 65 percent from 58 percent in 2010. This means 61 billion aluminum cans were recycled in the U.S. in 2011, with the energy saved equivalent to 17 million barrels of crude oil.

"Recycling is a global challenge because tens of billions of cans are still being wasted. Aluminum cans are infinitely recyclable and are the most valuable material in the recycling bin, so they should never see a landfill. Recycling a can takes only five percent of the energy needed to make that can from scratch, so there's a big benefit," Schmitt said. "We're excited to engage Facebook users from all over the world in doing their part to encourage their friends to recycle - by passing the can."

Alcoa's "Pass the Can" Facebook app will be officially launched today at the Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting in New York when Alcoa, Alcoa Foundation and Keep America Beautiful announce the "Action to Accelerate Recycling" commitment, a $2 million national initiative to increase U.S. recycling rates.

"Pass the Can" is Alcoa's second app created to promote aluminum can recycling. In 2010, Alcoa launched Aluminate™, a recycling app for iPhone and iPad that helps consumers find recycling centers, track how many aluminum cans they recycle and calculate the cash they earn through recycling. Also in 2010, Alcoa launched its first recycling viral video, An InCANvenient Truth, featuring Carl the Can Man, which rocketed to the top of YouTube's nonprofit category on the day of launch.

Following are the recycling projects funded through "Pass the Can":

  • KAB:

    • Keep America Beautiful will identify state and county fairs in non-deposit bill states and initiate recycling at several of these large recreational events across the U.S. in 2013 and 2014. Specifically, KAB will provide support for the placement of recycling bins, develop both technical support and communication tools, provide training, and identify cost-effective best practices for State and County Fair recycling programs over a two- year period.

  • IUCN:

    • International Union for the Conservation of Nature's Commission on Education and Communication (IUCN CEC) will focus on bringing together environmental education approaches from across Europe to be developed in Hungary, focusing on educating youth through interactive events and games that focus on topics including recycling and conservation. IUCN CEC will develop a curriculum that includes games, materials, training and interactive tools for local use in Hungarian and English for wider use across Europe.

  • Planet Ark:

    • Planet Ark's mission is to work with people and businesses to teach them the simple ways in which they can reduce their impact on the planet, at home, at work and in the community. In partnership with Alcoa Foundation, Planet Ark will develop recycling-based lesson plans, and interactive class activities that are linked to curriculum outcomes for K-12. These will be promoted as a core component of National Recycling Week for 10,000 Australian schools in 2012 and beyond. As a result of this program, up to 30,000 students will have a better understanding of recycling and how to reduce contamination in recycling and assess its environmental benefits.

About Alcoa

Alcoa is the world's leading producer of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum and alumina. In addition to inventing the modern-day aluminum industry, Alcoa innovation has been behind major milestones in the aerospace, automotive, packaging, building and construction, commercial transportation, consumer electronics and industrial markets over the past 120 years. Among the solutions Alcoa markets are flat-rolled products, hard alloy extrusions, and forgings, as well as Alcoa® wheels, fastening systems, precision and investment castings, and building systems in addition to its expertise in other light metals such as titanium and nickel-based super alloys. Sustainability is an integral part of Alcoa's operating practices and the product design and engineering it provides to customers. Alcoa has been a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for 11 consecutive years and approximately 75 percent of all of the aluminum ever produced since 1888 is still in active use today. Alcoa employs approximately 61,000 people in 31 countries across the world. More information can be found at

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