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why do we need to recycle aluminum

No other material offers the versatility and environmental benefits of aluminium. Aluminium is infinitely recyclable making it the material of choice for balancing the demand of a growing economy with the need to preserve the environment. Since the first industrial production of aluminum in the 1880s, 75% of all material produced is still in use today. Recycling aluminum requires 95% less energy, and produces 95% fewer greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), than manufacturing primary aluminum. That is a GHG saving equivalent to taking 900,000 cars off the road for 12 months. Today, the global aluminium recycling industry prevents close to 170 million tonnes of GHG from entering the environment every year. Recycling 1 tonne of aluminium avoids the emission of about 9 tonnes of CO2 emissions just 1 tonne of CO2 is equivalent to driving nearly 3,000 miles.


Recycling aluminium reduces thePuse of natural resources and chemicals (caustic soda, aluminum fluoride and lime) and eliminates the need forPbauxite ore to be mined. Eight billion aluminium beveragePcans are sold in the UK every year, and each one could be recycled over and over again, saving energy, raw materials and waste. A used aluminium beveragePcan can be recycled, reprocessed, remade and ready for re-sale in around 60 days. In a whole year, that one can could be recycled eight times, saving enough energy to make 160 new cans. Making one aluminium beveragePcan from raw materials uses the same amount of energy that it takes to recycle 20. And if you really want to put this into an everyday context recycling just one aluminium beverage can saves enough energy to power a television for three hours.


Globally, close to 70% of all aluminium beverage cans are recycled, making it the world s most recycled packaging product. Because aluminium is infinitely recyclable, it can be reused in applications vastly different from its previous purpose, and it can also be recast into its original form. These properties make aluminium an ideal material for use in premium applications, even after being recycled many times. For example, a 50-year-old building facade can be recycled into the aluminum needed for the engine block of a new car with no degradation in quality. Nearly 90% of the beveragePcans sold in the UK are made of aluminium and the current recycling rate (2011) for beveragePcans stands at 55% so theres still plenty out there to collect and recycle.


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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 184,000 tonnes of aluminium packaging that could be recycled. The current recycling rate for drink cans stands at 72% (2017 figures), and the overall rate for aluminium packaging is 51% 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.

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