Feb. 8, 2024

Alaska is famous for its miraculous view of the Northern Lights, beautiful glaciers, diverse wildlife and rich indigenous culture. However its rugged terrain and sparse population can make transportation a challenge, especially when it comes to processing waste and recyclables.  

Alaskans for Litter Prevention and Recycling (ALPAR) has stepped in to be part of the solution by increasing access to curbside recycling and helping improve the state’s recycling rates. For more than 40 years, ALPAR has implemented a variety of programs, including Flying Cans, and recruited thousands of volunteers to keep the state litter free and promote recycling. Now, with a grant from the American Beverage Foundation for a Healthy America, ALPAR is expanding its Flying Cans program. 

Flying Cans streamlines the recycling process for used beverage cans in Alaska’s remote, rural areas by crushing cans to create more compact loads and making transportation via small planes or barges more efficient and cost-effective. ALPAR’s efforts have already led to notable reductions in shipping expenses and better use of transportation resources overall.  

With support from the beverage industry’s Foundation, the Flying Cans program will be expanded across the Last Frontier state, impacting up to 80 rural and tribal communities and vastly improving waste management practices. In addition, grant funds will go towards purchasing new can crushers ranging from manual to mechanized units. In 2023, more than 19,000 pounds of aluminum cans and nearly 2,000 bags of plastic bottles were collected to be recycled.  

Working together, America’s beverage companies are always looking for innovative ways to increase the collection of our valuable, fully recyclable plastic bottles and cans. Supporting local initiatives and organizations like ALPAR is one way we can make a lasting impact in working toward a sustainable future.  

Learn more about the American Beverage Foundation for a Healthy America at www.BeverageFoundation.org