In the United States, annual sales of aluminum cans exceed 100 billion, but the recycling rate is less than 50%. In other countries, a similar number of aluminum cans are incinerated or landfilled for disposal.
Today, 1.5 million tons of waste aluminum cans are added each year worldwide. The production of the corresponding new aluminum cans wastes a lot of energy and raw materials and damages the environment.
The process of producing aluminum is a process that is extremely polluting.
First, the global industry emits millions of tons of greenhouse gases such as CO2 every year. Even though aluminum cans account for only 1.4% of the world's total waste, the data tells us that they produce 14.1% of the global greenhouse gas.
In addition, aluminum smelting also produces sulfur oxides and nitrogen oxides, which are major contributors to toxic fumes and acid rain.
Third, for every ton of aluminum cans produced, it means mining 5 tons of aluminum ore, and it must be open-pit mining, crushing, washing and refining. This process pollutes surface water and groundwater.