Aluminium and the Carbon Economy
Used aluminium is valuable – it is easily and endlessly recycled without quality loss.
The recycling process saves energy and reduces greenhouse gas emissions, so every time aluminium passes through the recycling process the environmental benefits increase.
As governments look to increase sustainability and improve management of resources, increasing the collection and recycling of aluminium has been identified as a ‘priority’.
In this section we outline the benefits of aluminium in a carbon economy, and outline Alupro’s position on key aspects of UK government policy and how they impact on increasing recycling rates for aluminium packaging.
Recycling is critical to sustainable development.
It allows resources to be saved and waste to be reduced. The high value of aluminium scrap is a key incentive and major economic impetus for recycling. Aluminium scrap has considerable market value because most of the energy required for the production of primary aluminium is embodied in the metal itself and, consequently, in the scrap. Therefore, the energy needed to melt aluminium scrap is only a fraction of that required for primary aluminium production.
Recycling one tonne of aluminium saves 9 tonnes of CO2: One tonne of CO2 is equivalent to driving 2,800 miles.