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Sustainable design

5 trends for recycled aluminium

Recycled aluminium conserves resources and helps the environment. Yang Cao of Metal Bulletin Research talks about five trends related to recycled aluminium.
  • No limits. “Aluminium is a highly recyclable metal. With an accumulated aluminium product inventory since 1888 estimated at 600 million metrictons, the availability of aluminium scrap is not a constraint. And producing recycled aluminium requires just 5 percent of the energy required to produce the primary metal.”

  • Regional hubs. "Asia Pacific is the leading manufacturing hub for recycled aluminium, with 45 percent of global production in 2013. Production in Brazil, China and India is rapidly increasing.”
  • Major markets. “End-use sectors such as transportation, construction, packaging and steel production are the major recycled aluminium markets. Total global recycled aluminium usage by end-use sectors will reach 26.5 million metric tons by 2023.”
  • Key drivers. “Used beverage can recycling will be a key factor in the usage and growth of recycled aluminium, as will awareness programs like the American Action to Accelerate Recycling.”
  • Key constraints. “Global availability of aluminium scrap for domestic industries, particularly in some Western countries that are increasingly exporting to Asia, is a worry. Scrap grades that contain impurities also pose problems.”

Recyclability in the circular economy

Recyclability also is a major part of the equation in the circular economy, as a factor that needs to be considered in the design phase, then evaluated in parallel with cost and performance.

You need to measure the overall impact of a product during its entire lifecycle. Like this: Lightweight composite material might make a car more fuel efficient, but it is less recyclable, so that calculation needs to be made.

Interested in learning more?

If you are interested in learning more about sustainable production and aluminium as a green material then please contact Hydro and we will put you in touch with the right expert.