Sustainability aluminum cans infographic selection

Published on July 14th, 2015 | by Jeff McIntire-Strasburg

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Aluminum Cans: The Most Sustainable Drink Container? [Infographic]

I admit it: I’m a drink container snob. If I have my druthers, I’ll take that beer or soda out of a glass bottle. I’ll settle for plastic. But I tend to look down my nose at aluminum cans, and have convinced myself that those beverages taste better out of those other containers.

As a good greenie, though, I may want to rethink that: the Aluminum Association has just released a report showing that aluminum cans beat other materials soundly on recycling factors. Yeah, I know: what else would they say? But the numbers they’ve provided are pretty impressive, showing that aluminum not only works well technologically, but also economically.

The infographic below makes a good case for the Association’s argument. An additional factor that I think is really important: “…aluminum cans have reduced their weight by 38 percent since 1972, down to 12.99 grams on average. Aluminum cans are more than 15 times lighter than standard 12 oz. glass bottles, allowing brands to package and transport more beverages using less material.” That’s a big deal in terms of energy savings: you and I won’t notice that weight difference, but fleets of trucks transporting these lighter containers will save fuel…

Peruse the numbers below, and let us know what you think: has the Aluminum Association made its case? Should I switch to canned beer? And how do we continue to get those recycling rates up? Share your thoughts in the comments…

aluminum cans infographic

Graphic source: The Aluminum Association

via Can Science


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About the Author

Jeff McIntire-Strasburg is the founder and editor of sustainablog. You can keep up with all of his writing at Facebook, and at



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