Pros and Cons of Recycled, Repurposed Materials

Recycling aluminum cans has its advantages and disadvantages. Many communities make it easier and more beneficial to recycle cans than others. The whole aluminum can recycling industry began about 37 years ago. Since then, millions of tons of aluminum cans have been recycled throughout America. Although recycling aluminum cans has many advantages, there are some disadvantages that deter consumers from recycling.


  • You are helping the environment.
  • Respect.
  • Recycling reduces material destined for landfills.
  • Re-introduces a commodity that can be reused instead of being freshly made.
  • Provides a extra source of income,every little bit counts nowadays.


  • People think it is “beneath them to gather cans.
  • Those with limited space will tend not to recycle.
  • Some think its not worth the hassle.
  • Aluminum cans must be kept separate from regular trash.

Environmental Impact

  • Aluminum cans take quite a while to biodegrade, which means they will take up space in landfills. Also, the processes that go into producing aluminum cans have a greater impact on the environment than the processes to recycle aluminum cans. Fewer factories means less pollution.


  • I very much like the idea of turning waste materials into something unexpected, i guess i have been influenced by the exhibit. The idea of creating worth out of nothing, or creating somthing unique and almost strange to people out of an ordinary object or process intrigues me.
  • Plentiful materials, I have been collecting cans for a few weeks now and have a fair few, luckily the material is readily availible. I also started collecting glass bottles and have found a supermarket willing to let me take away corrugated card to use on a project. This is quite important as it means i will have the materials availible to experiment with, furthermore they are safe and easy to handle materials that i can use in my home, without need for specialist equipment.


Looking into this subject I came across the term Upcycling, I decided to look further into this concept as this was closer to the goal I had in mind.


Since 1972, billions of aluminum cans have been recycled. It is estimated that 53 million pounds worth of cans were recycled in that year, a number that is succeeded weekly these days in America. On average, an aluminum can that gets recycled will be sitting back on a store shelf within 60 days.

Fact 2

Napoleon Bonaparte’s military campaign during the turn of the 19th century helped to spark food packaging innovations when he offered a reward for anyone who could find a way to preserve food for his hungry troops. In 1810, French citizen Nicholas Appert won 12,000 francs from Napoleon when he developed a method for storing food in glass jars. The same year, Englishman Peter Durand patented a design for an iron can with tin plating and lead soldering. Fast forward 100 years to 1922: the process of can crimping was introduced to tin can manufacturing and by the mid-1950s, tin cans no longer used lead solder but instead consisted of two or three pieces of tin-plated steel crimped together to form an air-tight seal.