Aluminium and Steel Recycling

TOCK has learnt that lots of the drinks and food (like baked beans, soup) we use comes in cans made from steel or aluminium. He was very excited to learn that the great thing about aluminium and steel is that they can be recycled over and over again and are 100% recyclable.

It only takes about 6 weeks to manufacture, fill, sell, recycle and then remanufacture a drink can. Used aluminium cans are recycled and returned to a store shelf as a new can in as few as 60 days. 

Steel can be used to make so many things and because it can be recycled over and over again the uses of recycled steel are endless. These include:

  • Bicycle frames
  • Ships and cars
  • Train tracks
  • Pipes
  • Bridges
  • Paperclips
  • Food and drinks cans

Aluminium – It is always best to recycle than make new. New aluminium is made from bauxite, a material that is dug up from the ground in tropical areas such as Brazil, Indonesia, Malaysia, West Africa and Australia. Often forests are cut down so people can get to the bauxite which we know is not good for the Earth.

Also it takes a lot of energy to make aluminum from scratch. In fact, it takes 95% more energy to make aluminum from bauxite ore than to recycle old aluminum into new. The energy you save by recycling a single aluminum can will run a TV for three hours.

Another super thing about aluminium cans is that every part of the can is reusable—you don’t have to prepare it in any way, other than to rinse it out.

The aluminium drinks can is the world’s most recycled packaging container – worldwide over 50% of aluminium cans are recycled. So remember to always put your drink and food cans in the recycle bin or use them for a cool craft project. If you don’t and they go to the landfill your aluminium can could still be there in 200 years time.

Go to our TOCK crafts page for some fun ideas to reuse your old food/drink cans.