The US-based Aluminium Association is encouraging its members and end-users to recycle this metal, stating that aluminium products can be infinitely recycled without losing their functional purpose.
It highlights that a recent report, released by the United Nations Environment Pro-gramme (Unep), found that a select group of metals used in consumer electronics is being recycled.
However, aluminium is being recycled at more than 50%, while the recycling rates of other metals remain discouragingly low.
“In theory, metals can be used over and over again, minimising the need to mine and process virgin materials and saving substantial amounts of energy and water while [limiting] environmental degradation,” says Unep executive director Achim Steiner.
He adds that increased levels of recycling worldwide could contribute towards a low-carbon, resource-efficient green economy, while simultaneously assisting in creating green jobs.
The association points out that take-back programmes, which place the responsibility for recycling products or packaging on manufacturers, have assisted in increasing aluminium recycling.
Aluminium, unlike other mate- rials used in the manufactur- ing of electronic products, contains no toxic substances, making it the ideal material to recycle.