part of our everyday lives
 
aluminium is everywhere
From kitchen foil, to drink cans, to aluminium in transport - aluminium is integral to our everyday lives.
 
Aluminium is used largely in the transport industry for cars, boats, planes, motorbikes, push-bikes and trucks. One of the main benefits of aluminium, over other metals, is that it’s incredibly light which means there are significant benefits including improved performance, fuel efficiency and lower greenhouse emissions. 
 
65 per cent of the largest commercial plane in the world, the Airbus A380, is made of aluminium. And did you know that the global automotive industry uses seven million tonnes of aluminium each year and 90 per cent of aluminium used in vehicles today is recycled?  The good news is that recycling one tonne of aluminium saves nine tonnes of carbon dioxide, compared with making new metal.

Aluminium has even revolutionised cooking.  You would probably be hard pressed to find a kitchen in Australia today without aluminium foil.  Have you ever wondered about the difference between the shiny and matt side of aluminium foil? The fact is, when it comes to cooking, you can use either side of the foil and it makes very little difference to your end result.  The foil is shiny on one side and dull on the other because of the heavy rollers in the manufacturing process. The side which comes in contact with the rollers becomes shiny, while the other side remains matt in appearance.  Alcoa has aluminium rolling facilities at Point Henry in Geelong, Victoria, and at Yennora in Western Sydney, NSW producing around 180,000 tonnes of rolled aluminium each year – which is made into screw caps and aluminium food and beverage cans.

You might be staring at aluminium right now - many lap-top computers contain aluminium.  In fact, Apple has just released a new series of lap-tops made partly from aluminium.  Apple is calling its new lap-tops the “greenest Apple ever” thanks to their aluminium construction which makes the lap-tops recyclable. “When you eventually part with it, rest assured it can be remade into something new,” the Apple website states.

While there are endless uses for aluminium, cans remain the most recognised aluminium product. Alcoa is the largest recycler of aluminium in Australia - we manage around 70,000 tonnes of aluminium each year at our recycling facility in Yennora, NSW.  Every aluminium can produced in Australia is made of Alcoa’s aluminium.  While the can may be a small aluminium item, recycling one aluminium can save enough energy to run a television for three hours!  Also, an aluminium can recycles 100 per cent back into another aluminium can, while using only 5 per cent of the energy needed to make a new can from scratch.  By recycling aluminium cans, you are not only reducing carbon emissions, but also reducing waste to landfill.

If you look around the common Australian home you will notice many other items made from aluminium including furniture, ladders and aluminium venetian blinds.

At Alcoa, we expect that aluminium recycling and the use of aluminium in transport will make our product climate neutral by 2025.


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