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Recycling Aluminium

Aluminium can be recycled forever

In other words, it can be melted down and reformed without losing any quality and the process can be repeated over and over again. This makes aluminium the material of choice for balancing the demands of a growing economy with the need to preserve the environment.

Here are some amazing facts:

  • Since the first industrial production of aluminium in the 1880s 75% of all material produced , about 1 billion tonnes, is still in use today
  • Recycling aluminium requires only 5% of the energy used to create primary aluminium. I.e. Producing aluminium from Bauxite
  • Recycling aluminium also produces only 5% of the greenhouse gas emissions generated in primary production
  • Recycling 1 Tonne of aluminium saves 9 tonnes of C02 emissions. 9 tonnes of C02 emissions is equivalent to driving a car over 25,000 miles
  • Today the global aluminium recycling industry prevents close to 170 million tonnes of greenhouse gases from entering the environment every year
  • Nine billion aluminium drinks cans are sold in the UK every year:
    • a used aluminium drinks can will be recycled, reprocessed, remade and ready for sale in around 60 days
    • in a whole year one can could be recycled 6 times saving enough energy to make 120 new cans

Recycling aluminium has been a common practice since the early 1900s and extensively used during world war II. It was however a low-profile activity until the late 1960’s when the exploding popularity of aluminium drinks cans brought recycling to the attention of the general public. However only 60% to 70% of aluminium cans are recycled. If all the aluminium cans sold were recycled there would be around 14 million fewer dustbins emptied into landfill sites every year.

The growing demand for aluminium and the long lifetime of many products, limiting their availability for recycling but maximising their in-use benefits, means that the overall quantity of primary metal used will continue to be around double that of recycled metal, for the foreseeable future. However, both local and national initiatives, coupled with growing consumer awareness will, hopefully, see a rise in the amount of aluminium collected for recycling.

Custom Profiles is committed to recycling and carries out a strict segregation of all scrap, swarf and other production residue allowing recycling wherever possible.