Why recycling is important
to everyone

The use of secondary recyclable metals in manufacturing is far more cost and energy effective than the extraction and conversion of primary raw materials into metal. For example production of one tonne of aluminium from recyclable metal requires only 5% of the energy needed to obtain the same quantity of aluminium from bauxite and produces only 5% of the CO2 emissions.

This process also reduces the waste going to landfill, as aluminium can be recycled indefinitely as reprocessing does not damage its structure. This means that a recycled aluminium can saves enough energy to run a television for three hours and if all the aluminium cans in the UK were recycled there would be 14 million fewer full dustbins each year.

All steel cans are 100% recyclable, and generally contain 25% recycled steel already - this percentage is expected to rise as recycling rates increase, reducing the use of raw materials.  Recycling steel requires only 25% of the energy and produces only 20% of the CO2 emissions when compared with the primary production of steel.  Recycling seven steel cans saves enough energy to power a 60-watt light bulb for 26 hours.

Our growing awareness of the damage that we are doing to our environment, together with the greater opportunities available to recycle our rubbish, and increasingly sophisticated recycling methods, provide compelling arguments for providing the source of recyclable materials and encouraging industry to use recycled metals.



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