Rieger Metallveredlung Blog – Aluminum instead of plastic - Ocean polluted by plastic, next to an aluminum bottle between plastic products
07.06.2022 - Blog

Aluminum instead of plastic

An alternative?

Although the pollution of our earth by plastic is not an unknown problem, it is nevertheless becoming more serious every day. Every minute a new truckload of plastic waste ends up in our oceans, and even we are consuming more and more plastics due to the microplastics in food or cosmetics, for example. It should therefore be clear, and not just now, that there is an acute need for action.

But how can we reduce the use of plastic?

According to the current state of knowledge, it is unfortunately hardly possible to switch to materials that are completely harmless in this respect, especially with the level of consumption to which we humans have become accustomed in recent decades.

In many cases, however, aluminum could take over the tasks of plastic - many of the required properties could even be created here with coordinated surface coatings.

But why aluminum?

The use of aluminum has several advantages. Real recycling is not possible with plastic, because it cannot be recycled indefinitely. After a few recycling-processes at the latest, it cannot be processed any further and becomes waste - this is why this is also referred to as "downcycling". Aluminum, on the other hand, can be recycled indefinitely and without any loss of quality. Furthermore, aluminum is much easier to recycle than plastic, since it is always one and the same material and not different types, as is the case with plastic products, which also have to be processed separately. Processing therefore also costs far fewer resources and energy than is the case with plastic.

It is clear to us that, in the final analysis, aluminum is not a miracle cure in terms of environmental pollution - but in our eyes it is definitely the better alternative to plastic in many cases and is therefore a first approach to reducing the pollution of our oceans and the environment as a whole.