Food tins and drinks cans are made out of aluminium or steel. These materials can be recycled over and over again into new products.
Aluminium and steel cans can be recycled multiple times and can be made into many different products including bicycle frames, pipes, train tracks, ship hulls, cars, bridges, paperclips, food and drinks cans, window frames, road signs or even parts of cars!
Our aluminium cans go to a UK based company for reprocessing. Here, the bales are broken apart and the material is hand-picked to remove any large contamination. The material then passes through an overband magnet to remove any ferrous content, before being screened to eliminate glass contamination. The material then passes over 2 air knives which separate any light material (cans) from heavy material. The light fraction then gets shredded. The shredded material goes through a second process to remove further ferrous content before passing over Eddy-current separators to separate the aluminium from any remaining contamination.
The clean cans are then baled as a finished product and sent to remelt facilities in the UK, Europe and America, where they are made into new products such as cans, bike frames, ladders and staples for example.
Our steel cans go to a UK based company for further reprocessing. Here, they break the bales apart and separate any contaminants from the steel cans by hand, before re-baling them. The cleaned product is then sent to a steel works where it is melted and used to create steel plate, which is then used to make new items such as cans etc. This entire chain of recycling stays within the UK.
Did you know – Recycling 1kg of aluminium can save up to 6kg of bauxite, 4kg of chemical products and 14kWh of electricity.