Are cans better for the environment?

Are cans better for the environment?

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Sustainability is at the top of the agenda for everyone, and businesses like ours are making plastic free pledges in a bid to save the earth left and right. Cue the mighty can. Many experts say the humble tin is way more environmentally friendly in comparison to its soul sisters glass and plastic. Unlike its rivals, numerous studies over the years have shown cans to be the least damaging single use container out there today. Reason being aluminium(what the trustee can is made of) can be constantly recycled with no change whatsoever in its properties. In basic terms, by just recycling an aluminium can you’ll help save up to 95% of the energy used to make a new can and no new material needs to be mined or transported.

It’s not all rosy though…

While aluminium cans might indeed produce far less ocean waste, they come with their own eco price: the production of each can pumps about twice as much carbon into the atmosphere, but it’s not all bad: if you're cycle a ton of the stuff it equates to roughly 14,000 kilowatts of energy,6545 litres of oil and saves up to 270ft of space in a landfill, say the fine professors at Stanford University.

Plastic, though widely recycled, does come with its benefits: it’s strong, super resistant to chemicals (to help ensure that the ingredients in your beverage don’t degrade inside) and because it’s lightweight, more can be transported on much less emissions. Downside? The effects of plastic, as we all know, are well documented. Look at all the big docs (hello Seaspiracy) and you’ll probably remember seeing swathes of plastic bottles wash up on beaches. Glass and aluminium, unlike plastic don’t contain as many nasty micro particles, so the effects are much less on the wider environment.

Speaking of glass, overall, most agree these bottles are the worst of the bunch. You might instinctively reach for glass if you see aplastic bottle to feel that little less guilty, but truth is, glass making involves mining raw materials such as silica sand and dolomite, which in turn releases pollution into the environment. Most would not think it when they are downing their fav cold beverage, but high temperatures are needed to melt all these materials which in turn create even more fossil fuels. 

Best option?

Undoubtably the humble aluminium can. Aluminium can be constantly recycled with no change in properties, saves up to 95% of the energy used to make a new can and no new material needs to be mined or transported to make one. Two words: go aluminium.

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