Did you know aluminium is one of the most sustainable building materials in the world?
Aluminium cans are tossed away every single day without even a second thought about where they finally end up. Aluminium windows and doors are often discarded as scrap – do you ever wonder what happens to them once they leave your site?
Aluminium gets recycled.
Aluminium recycling is a closed-loop (or cradle-to-cradle) process, and can be recycled indefinitely because the life of the material doesn’t stop after use. Regardless of the product – cans, windows, doors and bicycles – the aluminium isn’t consumed, only used. This makes aluminium one of the most valuable items in buildings marked for demolition.
Decorative Imaging presents seven amazing facts about aluminium recycling that will give you a whole new perspective on this everyday metal.
75% of the aluminium ever produced is still being used in some form today. Most of this aluminium is used in building applications.
The recycling process uses only 5 per cent of the energy used in the primary production of aluminium. This means recycling aluminium saves 95% of the energy used to produce virgin aluminium.
Recycling a single aluminium can saves enough energy to run a television for up to 3 hours. It also avoids CO2 emissions equivalent to a 1-mile car journey, and could be back on the supermarket shelf as another can within 60 days.
Aluminium can be recycled indefinitely without loss of quality, unlike materials such as plastic, paper and timber that are usually down-cycled, reducing quality and limiting their use every time.
Two of the world’s largest aluminium producers, Canada and Norway, use 100% hydropower as an energy source. Aluminium refineries in Launceston and Invercargill, NZ are also powered by hydropower.
Aluminium recycling over a year saves enough electrical energy to power The Netherlands for a year. It also saves more than 90 million tonnes of CO2 each year.
Emission savings from aluminium recycling are increasing all the time, having doubled since 1990 and are expected to increase by a further 50% by 2020.
An Australian-owned and operated business based in Sydney, Decorative Imaging offers a pioneering range of finished aluminium building products.
Source: International Aluminium Institute