Sunday, 21 November 2010

Aluminium Foil

The production of aluminium foil is an extremely wasteful process.

Bauxite, from which aluminium is smelted, is mined in open cast pits in countries such as China, India, Guinea and Kazakhstan. Thousands of tons of waste rock are produced, villagers are often displaced and rivers and soil are polluted. Large amounts of energy are expended, almost half of which is generated from fossil fuels, contributing to the greenhouse effect.

So reducing, reusing and recycling are all the more essential. I try not to use too much foil and never throw it away until it's too torn or holey for anything but the recycling bin.

Today I spotted this 100% recycled kitchen foil. It may have been around for some time but this is the first time I've seen it. It's made from car components, guttering, railway sidings, cookware, stadium seating and scraps of industrial cables! The aluminium is heated to over 650 C . The impurities are burned off and the molten metal is filtered, poured and rolled to produce thin sheets. Recycled aluminium uses 80% less energy to produce than from new.

This roll should last me for a while but I know where to look when I eventually need some more.