Why is recycling aluminium so important?
Aluminium can be recycled forever: It can be melted down and reformed without losing any quality, and the process can be repeated over and over again. Recycling aluminium saves around 95% of the energy needed to make the metal from raw materials.
Along with the energy savings, recycling aluminium saves around 95% of the greenhouse gas emissions compared to the ‘primary’ production process. Recycling 1 tonne of aluminium saves 9 tonnes of CO2 emissions; When you consider that 1 tonne of CO2 is equivalent to driving a car 2800 miles the benefits of recycling really start to become clear.
Over 90% of the drink cans made and sold in the UK are aluminium, but there’s more to aluminium packaging than just cans! Factor in all the aluminium aerosols, foil food trays, wrappers and bottle tops also on the market and you have over 160,000 tonnes of aluminium packaging that could be recycled. The current recycling rate for drink cans stands at 70% (2016 figures), and the overall rate for aluminium packaging is 50% – so there’s still some way to go to reach that goal.
The drinks can you recycle today could be made into a new can, filled and put back on the shelf in just 60 days. In a whole year, that one can could be recycled six times, saving enough energy to make 160 new cans.