Why Recycle Aluminium?

Novelis Recycling UK

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.

The benefits

Aluminium recycling provides significant energy savings in multiple sectors:

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 the use of natural resources and chemicals (caustic soda, aluminum fluoride and lime) and eliminates the need for bauxite ore to be mined.

Recycling aluminium beverage cans

The aluminium beverage can is the world’s most recycled packaging container

Eight billion aluminium beverage cans 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 beverage can 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 beverage can 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.

The future

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 beverage cans sold in the UK are made of aluminium and the current recycling rate (2011) for beverage cans stands at 55% so there’s still plenty out there to collect and recycle.


Need more information?

Take a look at our iBrochure for some more information on recycling with Novelis

Become a supplier