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 4,500 kilometers, the benefits of recycling really start to become clear.
Over 90% of the drink cans made and sold in Ireland are aluminium, but there’s more to aluminium packaging than just cans! Factor in all the foil food trays, foil sweet wrappers, kitchen foil, and bottle tops also on the market and you have a lot more aluminium packaging that could be recycled. The current recycling rate for drink cans stands at 54% (2016 figures), and the overall rate for aluminium packaging is 36% – 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.