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The Recycling Process of an Aluminum Can

by Garrett Looney |

In today's world, where environmental consciousness is becoming increasingly important, the choices we make as consumers have a profound impact. One particular choice that has gained immense popularity is to buy water in aluminum cans.

Aluminum cans offer a multitude of advantages that make them a preferred choice for both consumers and the planet; they’re perfect for housing our favorite beverages and being a reliable packaging solution. 

Below, we’ve written a short post that explores the recycling process that aluminum cans go through, and why they’re a great choice for the environment - read on to learn more.

Why Do We Use Aluminum Cans?

Here at RightWater, we use aluminum cans for our canned still water, as opposed to environmentally damaging plastic bottles. We do this for a number of reasons such as:

  • Endlessly Recyclable

  • One of the most remarkable attributes of aluminum cans is their infinite recyclability. Unlike some materials that degrade in quality each time they're recycled, aluminum maintains its integrity through multiple recycling rounds. 

    This is a game-changer for sustainability efforts. According to the Aluminum Association, nearly 75% of all aluminum ever produced is still in use today. This reflects the incredible efficiency of the recycling process of aluminum

  • Easy to Transport

  • Secondly, aluminum cans are lightweight, making them incredibly easy to transport. This not only reduces shipping costs but also helps lower the carbon footprint associated with transportation. 

    Their lightweight nature also contributes to fuel efficiency, enabling your aluminum cans to be delivered directly while consuming less energy.

  • Environmental Friendliness

  • Opting for aluminum cans over other packaging materials has significant environmental benefits. Aluminum is derived from bauxite ore, and the extraction process is energy-intensive and ecologically harmful. 

    By choosing aluminum cans and actively participating in recycling efforts, we can reduce the demand for new aluminum production, conserving energy and mitigating the negative environmental impacts of mining and processing.

  • Keeping Things Cool for Longer

  • Aluminum cans also excel in temperature control. Their reflective surface helps to deflect heat, keeping beverages cooler for longer periods. 

    This quality is particularly advantageous for products like water and sodas, ensuring that your refreshing drinks stay at the perfect temperature even on hot summer days.

    Overall, recycling aluminum cans is incredibly easy and takes us less energy - so it’s a win-win situation for us and the environment.

    The Recycling Journey

    Curious about what the recycling journey involves? The process of recycling aluminum cans is a streamlined one, involving a number of different steps that transform discarded cans into valuable raw materials for new products.

    • 1. Collection and Sorting: The first step is the collection of aluminum cans through recycling programs. These cans are sorted to separate them from other recyclables like glass and plastic.

    • 2. Shredding: The collected cans are then shredded into small pieces to reduce their volume, making them easier to handle during the recycling process.

    • 3. Cleaning and Preparation: After shredding, the aluminum pieces go through a thorough cleaning process involving both mechanical and chemical methods. This ensures that any contaminants or impurities are removed.

    • 4. Melting: The cleaned aluminum pieces are then loaded into high-temperature furnaces where they're melted down at temperatures that reach or climb higher than 750 degrees/1382 fahrenheit.

    • 5. Purification and Alloying: During the melting process, waste products are removed from the molten aluminum. To enhance its properties, various metals like copper, zinc, magnesium, or silicon may be added to create metal alloys with specific characteristics.

    • 6. Ingot Formation: The molten metal, now purified and alloyed, is formed into ingots. These ingots are then transported to aluminum processing or manufacturing plants where they're utilized to create new products.

    The Benefits of Recycling Aluminum Cans

    Recycling aluminum cans brings about a range of environmental, economic, and social benefits:

    • Conserves Energy: Recycling aluminum requires significantly less energy compared to producing it from raw materials, which results in substantial energy savings.


    • Reduces Air and Water Pollution: The recycling process generates fewer air and water pollutants compared to mining and refining bauxite ore.


    • Reduces Greenhouse Gases: By recycling aluminum, we reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases associated with traditional mining and extraction processes.


    • Protects Ecosystems and Wildlife: Choosing recycled aluminum over new production conserves natural habitats and reduces the environmental disruptions caused by mining.


    • Conserves Resources: Recycling reduces the need for new raw materials, helping to preserve valuable natural resources.


    • Saves Money: Businesses that incorporate recycled aluminum into their production processes often benefit from reduced material costs, positively impacting their bottom line.

    RightWater's Mission: A Commitment to Sustainability

    At RightWater, it’s our mission to bring consumers the highest quality product, from the shortest distance, in the most sustainable and environmentally friendly way possible. We supply canned spring water in aluminum cans as a zero plastic solution. 

    By packaging our products in aluminum cans, we aim to help reduce the carbon footprint associated with beverage packaging. We are fully committed to using recyclable and eco-friendly materials that align with a broader global effort to reduce waste, conserve resources, and create a more sustainable world.

    Buy Aluminum Canned Water

    If you want to buy water in aluminum cans, then choose RightWater today. Our cans are 70% recycled aluminum, and infinitely recyclable. BPA free, they hold locally sourced Californian spring water, untouched by additives. Our plastic-free packaging extends from box to tape. 

    As a social enterprise, every profit generated through our sales is channeled directly to drop4drop. This organization serves as our affiliated charity, with a focus on supplying clean water to disadvantaged communities all over the globe. We maintain a commitment to utmost transparency in the distribution of funds, and the initiatives we've undertaken have already made a positive difference in the lives of nearly 2 million individuals.