From cans to kitchen foil – how is aluminium recycled

Find out how to recycle cans and other aluminium waste with our guide.

Updated May 20, 2019

From cans to kitchen foil – how is aluminium recycled

In the world we live in, recycling is incredibly important. There are so many of us on the planet, and we use up so many resources so quickly, that’s it’s crucial we don’t just throw our stuff away! Recycling is the perfect way to cut down on our waste and keep our planet safe. When it comes to aluminum can recycling and all of these kinds of aluminium products, we all need to be doing our bit to make sure we’re not wasting a valuable resource.

See if there are any aluminum recycling initiatives in your local area that will pay for your aluminium waste so that you can earn some extra cash! Remember to wash your aluminium cans with an effective dishwashing liquid like Sunlight before you recycle them.    

Why is aluminum recycling important?

When you recycle cans and other items that are made from aluminium, you’re helping to reduce climate change and pollution, securing the safety of the world. By recycling aluminium, it means that we need to mine less of what it comes from - Bauxite ore - and mining is incredibly damaging to the planet. It destroys natural habitats and is rapidly exhausting our world of its natural resources. So, by recycling, you’ll be helping to stop this from happening!

To make aluminium, it also requires a whole lot of energy and electricity, which produces harmful carbon dioxide emissions. In fact, making aluminium cans uses so much energy that only one can be produced with the amount of energy it takes to recycle 20 of the same cans! So, do your bit and let’s get the world recycling.

Aluminium recycling process

How is aluminium recycled? Well, the process is actually really quick. In fact, if you recycle an aluminium can, it can be back in the supermarket as a brand-new can in 60 days! That’s pretty amazing, right? They’re also the world’s most commonly recycled packaging, and by 2025 South Africa hopes to be recycling almost all of the aluminium cans we use.

To recycle aluminium, the whole thing is very simple. It just needs to be melted down and repurposed for something new - that’s it! As the whole of aluminium is recyclable, this process can happen over and over again, too.

How to recycle aluminum cans and other items

We couldn’t recycle tin cans easily, but the newer, all-aluminium cans make it far easier, so there really is no excuse! To recycle your aluminium, separate it from your other waste and take it to a drop-off point. Or, you can look into selling it to initiatives that’ll buy it back from you, such as Collect-A-Can.

Can aluminum foil be recycled?

Is aluminum foil recyclable? Yes! Just like cans and other aluminium products, you don’t have to throw it away. Just be sure that it’s not covered in food before you recycle it.

Now that you know exactly how to recycle aluminium, cans and foil included, there really is no excuse. The aluminum recycling process is easy and has a really positive impact on our planet!

  • When you’re finished with a can, place it with your washing-up rather than throwing it away.
  • Wash it, making sure to rinse all the drink out of it, before leaving it to dry.
  • Have a bag or bin that’s dedicated to aluminium recycling in your home.
  • Every time the bin or bag is full, take it to your nearest recycling drop off.
  • Originally published March 21, 2019