The Magic of
Embark on a journey
that never ends
The first step is to collect the cans. If they’re not collected, then they can’t be recycled.
Cans go to a sorting centre, where they’re separated from other materials using magnetic currents.
Separated cans are baled up into large, heavily compressed cubes and sent to a recycling plant.
Bales of cans are shredded into smaller pieces. Any steel particle left is removed with the help of a regular magnet and aluminium is then further isolated by electric currents called Foucault’s or Eddy currents.
The shreds are heated so the decoration can be removed by blown air. The energy released by this process is recovered therefore minimizing the initial input of energy.
At the recycling plant cans are melted and shaped into huge aluminium blocks. No rocket science here, just re-melting!
The blocks are rolled into thin sheets and coils, from which they’re made into new cans.
Drink cans are manufactured by shaping aluminium into a cylindrical shape.
Cans are printed at tremendous speed with extreme accuracy. They are now ready to be filled and put back on sale.
AND EVERYTHING STARTS AGAIN!
The whole process is incredibly quick – old drink cans become part of a new bike, car, coffee pot or even new cans within 60 days of being collected. And every drink can can be recycled over and over again, forever.
Overall recycling rate
Source: MPE and European Aluminium (2018)
Aluminium can recycling
in 2017 in Europe
Once sold, emptied and placed in a recycling bin, drinks cans make the same journey over and over again – forever!
There’s no loss of quality, and recycling delivers energy savings of 95% compared with a can made from virgin aluminium. Over time, that’s a huge environmental benefit.