Alcoa is encouraging aluminum can recycling through its new Facebook app, “Pass the Can.” Facebook users simply log on to the Pass the Can app, crush a can and then pass the can to a friend. Once the can is passed to a friend, the Alcoa Foundation will donate $1, up to $75,000, to help support three conservation nonprofits: Keep America Beautiful, Planet Ark and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).


I don’t always use Facebook games or apps but due to the charitable donation, I decided to give this one a try. The first step is to choose what you want to use to crush your can. Options include a wrecking ball, sneaker, elephant, carnival hammer or garden gnome. I’m a fan of all things gnome-related so the garden gnome was an easy choice for me.


After I crushed my can, I passed it on to a friend, in this case, my husband. If you have Facebook friends that get annoyed by any type of request then skip them because you don’t want your crushed can to have a short journey; the goal is for your can to cross an international border. This potentially viral component will inform users when their can goes global.


Passing the can was that simple. On the next screen, the $1 donation was confirmed and then Alcoa provided a list of several aluminum can recycling facts including:


  • Because an aluminum can is infinitely recyclable, we think it’s priceless. However, its actual cash value is somewhere between one and two cents.
  • Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a LCD TV for two hours.
  • Used aluminum cans are recycled and returned to store shelves in as little as 60 days.

For those concerned about spamming their friends’ walls with badges, the app can be configured to post information that is only visible to the owner of the Facebook account. However, the charitable aspect of this campaign really needs the visible component to succeed. I know that I’d rather see a charitable app notification on my friend’s wall than the latest FarmVille achievement.


So, what are you waiting for? Pass the Can today.

Alcoa launches 'Pass the Can' Facebook app
App combines aluminum can recycling education with charitable giving.