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 electric currents (known as eddy 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 eddy currents (also called Foucault’s currents).
The shreds are heated so the decoration can be removed by blown air. The energy released by this process is recovered therefore minimising 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.
The Endless Cycle
Once sold, emptied and placed in a recycling bin, drink 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.
Each and every one of them can be recycled and back on sale in just 60 days.
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