Aluminum - The Sustainable Metal
- Discovered in the 1820s, aluminum is the most abundant metal in the earth's crust. It is also the earth's third most abundant element after Oxygen and Silicon.
- Aluminum is a durable and sustainable metal: Two-thirds of the aluminum ever produced is still in use today.
- Recovering aluminum for recycling saves money and dramatically reduces energy consumption.The aluminum container recycling process saves 92 percent of the energy needed to produce aluminum from bauxite ore, according to EPA's WAste Reduction Model (WARM).
- Most of the rigid aluminum packaging recovered from the waste stream is used to manufacture new packaging, making aluminum packaging a closed loop recycled material
- Of the most common recyclable materials aluminum, glass, paper, metals, corrugated paperboard and plastics aluminum is the only material that is infinitely recyclable, 100% recyclable, and pays for itself.
- Aluminum does not degrade or lose any if its intrinsic physical properties during the recycling process. Recycled aluminum and virgin aluminum are inherently the same.
- Aluminum beverage containers represent less than 20 percent of the materials collected in curbside recycling programs and they generate up to 70 percent of total scrap value. Aluminum cans are the most valuable commodity to curbside programs helping to pay for the collection of containers made from other materials. Aluminum is the only recyclable material that municipalities can count on to recoup their recycling costs.
- According to Earth911.com each year, the aluminum industry pays $800 million dollars for empty aluminum cans to the benefit of communities, industry and the environment.
- Aluminum packaging provides a complete, impermeable barrier. The superior barrier properties, of aluminum packaging, protect the integrity and improve the shelf life of sensitive products,in a highly sustainable manner