So plastic is damaging our planet…
but why aluminium?
Aluminium is the most recycled and most recyclable material used to package water.
Aluminium is recycled five times that of plastic and nearly twice as often as plastic, glass, and cartons. (Did you know cartons can’t be recycled in Australia? They are effectively a giant coffee cup - a mixture of paper and plastic)
Aluminium cans help to to make other recycling programs possible- many such programs rely on re-selling recycled material and the high value of scrap aluminium effectively subsidises the recycling of less valuable materials in your bin (like plastic). This has helped aluminium enjoy recycling rates near 70%!
Aluminium has the highest scrap price of any packaging material.
Why does aluminium rarely find its way to landfill?
Aluminium is worth over $2,000 per tonne, but plastic? Less than $300. Glass? around $30.
Aluminium cans, due to their inherent value, rarely stay outside of recycling streams for long, so if you do see one on the ground, know that it could pay to pick it up!
Aluminium is 100% recyclable - infinitely.
Unlike other packaging materials, Aluminium doesn’t degrade or lose purity during the recycling process, meaning it can be recycled indefinitely. The process is essentially a closed-loop; meaning 100% of aluminium bottles and cans become new bottles and cans. This process can be as short as 60-90 days with the average aluminium container being be made from 40-70% total recycled content, the highest of any beverage container available.
Aluminium provides longer shelf life.
Aluminium protects products inside from light, oxygen and other factors that can affect taste and even product safety.
According to the Science History Institute, “Some scientists and members of the public are concerned about evidence that chemicals leach out of plastics and into our food, water, and bodies. In very high doses these chemicals can disrupt the endocrine (or hormonal) system. Researchers worry particularly about the effects of these chemicals on children and what continued accumulation means for future generations.”
Aluminium is lighter to transport and lighter on the environment.
Aluminium doesn’t shatter and are among the lightest beverage packages to transport, reducing their environmental footprint. A 375ml can is a featherweight at just 14 g. The middleweight PET bottle weighs ~24 g, while the heavyweight champ of the drink container world, the glass bottle, weighs a comparatively colossal 200 g.
The additional grams hold a sizeable environmental punch, as fewer bottles can be loaded onto trucks due to weight limits, meaning more trips, and a heavier load uses more fuel.
sources: Australian Packaging Covenant Org. 2018 - Market Impact Assessment Report.
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