Around The World In 60 Days: Life Story Of An Aluminum Can

Aluminium Cans

The average life cycle of a human being from a birth to a death is 60 years and the life cycle of an aluminum can from mining to recycling is 60 days.

The life of aluminum can starts in tropical and sub-tropical countries like Australia, Central and South America, Africa and Asia where are major bauxite ore deposits are located, but before bauxite can be converted to aluminum it has to go through the infancy stage where it is called alumina. After processing, alumina or aluminum oxide looks like a fine grained white powder, just like baby powder.

What happens when baby touches electric current? Most likely baby will get an electric shock. In the case of aluminum electrical energy is necessary part of its production.  Usually, aluminum is extracted from alumina by electrolysis in smelting plants of China, North America, Europe, and Asia.

rusacanJust like any other teenager In North America and Western Europe aluminum likes rock-and-roll. It is rolled in a shape of sheet and foil and used for making beverage cans, foil containers and foil wrapping.

An adult person is responsible enough to make own choices and decisions, and for aluminum it is the time when it formed into products. Aluminium has a unique combination of properties that enables designers and manufacturers to develop different products that enhance the quality of life.

The retiring age is a time to think about past and future from a life-long perspective. For an aluminum can it is time to think about the energy saving potential of recycling the aluminum after the product has been used.

In conclusion, a used aluminum can is valuable, because it can be easily recycled, without quality loss, six times a year without loss of properties. Aluminium recycling conserves energy and other natural resources. It saves up to 95% of the energy required for primary aluminium production, thereby avoiding corresponding emissions, including greenhouse gases. Global aluminum recycling rates for beverage cans is about 60%, however, it could be increased further.

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How Recycling Works

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Recycling History

Although recycling may seem like a modern concept introduced with the environmental movement of the 1970s, it’s actually been around for thousands of years. Prior to the industrial age, you couldn’t make goods quickly and cheaply, so virtually everyone practiced recycling in some form. However, large-scale recycling programs were very rare — households predominantly practiced recycling.

The mass production of the industrial age is, in many ways, the very reason we need to worry about large-scale recycling. When products can be produced (and purchased) very cheaply, it often makes more economic sense to simply throw away old items and purchase brand new ones. However, this culture of “disposable” goods created a number of environmental problems, which we’ll discuss in detail in the next section.

In the 1930s and 40s, conservation and recycling became important in American society and in many other parts of the world. Economic depressions made recycling a necessity for many people to survive, as they couldn’t afford new goods. In the 1940s, goods such as nylon, rubber and many metals were rationed and recycled to help support the war effort. However, the economic boom of the postwar years caused conservationism to fade from the American consciousness [source: Hall]. It wasn’t until the environmental movement of the 1960s and 70s, heralded by the first Earth Day in 1970, that recycling once again became a mainstream idea. Though recycling suffered some lean years — due to public acceptance and the market for recycled goods not growing — it has generally increased from year to year.   The success of recycling traces to wide public acceptance, the improved economics of recycling and laws requiring recycling collections or enforcing recycled content in certain manufacturing processes.

Grabianowski, Ed. “How Recycling Works” 17 August 2007. HowStuffWorks.com. <http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/green-science/recycling.htm> 22 January 2015.

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