Aluminum is the third most abundant element on the planet next to oxygen and silicon. And while extracting raw aluminum from bauxite is by no means perfect, using already recycled aluminum IS. Why is that? Because it consumes just 5% of the energy it took to originally extract. That’s why 75% of all Aluminum ever produced is still actively in use today. Aluminum is the only material that offers 100% endless recyclability, as long as it’s put back into the recycling system. Aluminum recyclables are melted down then made into new products, including aluminum bottles, infinitely. This is called a Closed Loop System.
While reusable bottles are the gold standard for sustainability, recycling is second best thing you can do. But not all recyclables are created equal and this is because each recyclable material has different abilities to actually be converted into new products. Recycling relies on commodity markets to take a material, reduce it back down, and make a new product. It turns out, the entire recycling process is more than just a recycling symbol on a container.
The aluminum recycling system is currently the most robust because of aluminum’s ability to be melted back down into its pure form without any going to waste. And YES, this can be done infinitely. Aluminum uses only 5% of the energy it took to originally extract. Is it perfect? Of course not, every recycling process has its challenges. But it’s currently the best material for humans, the planet, and our current recycling system.
Plastics on the other hand have bigger challenges. Plastics are a low-value material, with low incentives for recycling. There are 7 types of plastics and sorting them is vital to their ability to actually make it into new products. This rarely happens and less than 10% of plastics actually make it to be recycled, or “downcycled”. Unlike aluminum containers that can be recycled endlessly, plastic downcycling means plastics get converted into inferior products like clothing and carpet fibers which are not recyclable and are ultimately destined for landfills and oceans.
The aluminum water bottle that finally sets into a motion a movement and challenges us to rise above our old plastic water bottle habit. It keeps water colder for longer, is sustainable, affordable, and makes it easy for everyone to make the shift from single-use plastic, once and for all.