Did you know that approximately 75% of the aluminium mined in the last 100 years is still in use? Aluminium has certain characteristics that make it an environmentally friendly metal. In this article we will take a look at the reasons why aluminum is sustainable, knowing its life cycle and how to give it a second life is very simple.
Sustainability of aluminum
The shift from a linear economy to a circular economy is very positive for both the planet and the economy, as it reduces the need to extract raw materials, thus reducing costs, emissions and waste. The aim is to achieve a transformation from a process of make, use, throw away and dispose to one in which waste is turned back into resources for new products, a process that is use, recycle, transform, and reuse. In this way, by eliminating dependence on raw materials, price increases and their volatility are avoided. In addition, the supply of materials is guaranteed without reducing natural resources.
In this case, aluminium is one of those materials that contribute to the transformation from a linear to a circular economy. This is because aluminium is a durable, resistant material with a multitude of applications, but above all there is one characteristic that makes it sustainable: it has an infinite life cycle.
Having this infinite life cycle allows it to be a material that can be recycled 100% unlimitedly, that is, it can be recycled as many times as you want without losing any of the qualities obtained when extracting the primary material. This means that any type of aluminum is never considered waste.
This material also has a simple, natural and, above all, very cost-effective recycling process: to produce one tonne of recycled aluminium from aluminium scrap, only 5% of the energy required to extract it is needed. Therefore, the energy cost of aluminium recycling process is only 25% of the costs of primary aluminium production.
These characteristics make it essential to recycle it in order to avoid the extraction of the primary material and thus promote the circular economy.
Sustainable aluminum: an alternative to plastic
Because aluminum is a non-toxic material, it will never generate particles that could end up in the food chain, unlike plastic, so it does not pollute air, soil or water. In this way, it becomes the ideal substitute for plastics, and can be used as water bottles, PVC construction elements and many other products, reducing the generation of plastic waste.
Its strength, durability, lightness and versatility allows the production of products with multiple finishes, making aluminium a more eco-friendly option than plastic packaging.
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