Aluminum Industry

How the Aluminum Industry is Taking Over for Plastics

There’s no denying how harmful plastic is to the environment. One WWF study showed that 8 million tons of plastic are dumped in the oceans every year, and 90% of seabirds have plastic in their stomachs.

Yet, we keep buying plastic water bottles due to a lack of alternatives. The bottled water industry has been under a lot of pressure to reduce their carbon footprint, so they’ve come up with a choice – canned water.

Companies like Coca-Cola and Pepsi are trying to replace their water bottles with cans after considerable pressure from celebrities and the general public. But how effective is this move going to be? Keep reading to find out.

Aluminum Recycling

So, why are companies making a move to aluminum? How is it better for the environment? Well, aluminum can be recycled indefinitely. This means that a used aluminum product can be recycled into a new one and retain most of its quality.

In contrast, when plastic is recycled into new products, it declines in quality considerably. Hence, there are only a handful number of times plastic can be recycled. To put things into perspective, nearly 75% of the aluminum produced in America is still in use today. In comparison, only 9% of plastic has been recycled.

The use of aluminum as a replacement for plastic water bottles also has its other advantages. For example, aluminum cans have a longer shelf-life and eliminate the need to use any preservatives.

For companies to use recycled aluminum, the public needs to regularly recycle aluminum. Luckily, this doesn’t seem to be a problem. Aluminum is one of the most recycled materials on the planet. Recycling rates for aluminum are pretty high, ranging from 60 to 90%.

Is Aluminum Really Better?

Not everyone’s happy about the aluminum industry taking over plastics. Some critics point out that the production of aluminum is an environmentally destructive process. In fact, producing aluminum goods take twice the energy as having plastic goods.

However, that doesn’t mean that aluminum isn’t the better alternative. As we’ve already said, aluminum is recyclable indefinitely, and recycling aluminum saves 90% of the energy it would take to make new aluminum. Hence, the production of one aluminum can be much better for the environment than the production of multiple plastic bottles.

If bottled water companies switch to aluminum cans, they have to ensure they’re using recycled aluminum. That’s the only way that the switch will be more environmentally friendly.

Aluminum Industry Taking Over

When we say the aluminum industry is taking over, we really mean taking over. The move to aluminum hasn’t just been happening in the bottled water industry. In the electronics industry, Apple has started to use recycled aluminum for its products as well.

Conclusion: Will Aluminum Replace Plastic?

The shift away from plastic was set into motion quite some time ago and, as evident, has been making strides. Given aluminum’s indefinite recyclability, it looks pretty likely that it will take over plastic.