The Lifecycle of a Standard Drinks Can

May 16, 2016

You can recycle aluminium drinks cans an indefinite number of times and if you’re interested in how this is done, check out our guide to the lifecycle of a standard drinks can.

Step 1: Bauxite Mining

In order to make aluminium for drinks cans, manufacturers need bauxite – aluminium ore. This is mined from abundant carbonate rocks in Europe and the Caribbean.
Step 2: Alumina Production

From this ore, alumina is produced.
Step 3: Aluminium Ingot Production

And from this alumina, ingots are made.
Step 4: Aluminium Rolling

These ingots are then rolled out into sheets ready for shaping.
Step 5: Can Production

The can body and end is made ready for filling.

aliminium drinks cans
Step 6: Can Filling

The cans are then filled with the liquid of choice and sealed.
Step 7: Packaging and Distribution

Once sealed, the cans are packaged and distributed to wholesalers and retailers.
Step 8: Can is Bought

The cans are then bought from a shop, the contents consumed and the empty can is put in a recycling bin.

cola can

Step 9: Recycling Collection

The cans are then collected by a licensed waste collection service, along with other recyclable materials.
Step 10: Aluminium is Re-Melted

The aluminium is remelted ready to be reused.
Return to step 4 and repeat for an infinite number of times.

Read more: How Many Times Can You Recycle A….


Want to See the Recycling of Metals in Action?

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Read more:

20 Weird and Wonderful Things You Would Never Think of Recycling But Can
Inside the Fascinating World of Festival Waste Removal
Sustainable Statistics – What’s the Value of Your Waste?