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Can Recycling Facts and Figures


Steel and aluminium were being collected to melt down for re-manufacture long before the term ‘recycling’ was invented. Recycled metal has exactly the same properties as virgin material – but takes less than 25 per cent of the energy to produce.

- Ireland places over 500 million drinks onto the market cans every year. More than 90% are made of aluminium.
- Each drinks can you recycle today could be reprocessed and remade into a new product.
- In a whole year, one drink can could be recycled eight times, saving enough energy to make 160 new cans.
- And the best thing about metals is that, since they are 100 per cent recyclable, they save more carbon every time they pass through the recycling loop.


As one of the world’s most abundant elements aluminium is found in rocks, soil, vegetation, water and even the air. As a metal it is lightweight but strong, does not rust or corrode, and is easily cast or rolled to make complex shapes for a wide range of products – from greenhouses to skyscrapers. And of course, aluminium is used to make food packaging – especially drinks cans, and can be recycled again and again with no loss of quality!

- 75% of the aluminium ever made is still in productive use today

The energy saved by recycling 4 aluminium drink cans would:

- Run a washing machine for 1 hour
- Run an electric blanket for 8 hours

The energy saved by recycling one aluminium drink can would:

- Run a fridge for 1 hour
- Boil a kettle 3 times

Every tonne of aluminium recycled saves:

-4 tonnes of bauxite

- 9 tonnes of CO2 emissions - 95% of the energy need to make aluminium from raw materials - 97% of the greenhouse gas emissions Every tonne of steel packaging recycled saves: -1.5 tonnes of iron ore - 40% of the water required in production - 75% of the energy needed to make steel from virgin material And reduces:- CO2 emissions by 80%- Air emissions by 86%- Water pollution by 76%.