Tin cans are basically made of steel, covered with a thin layer of tin. The main ingredient of steel is iron. In order to extract iron from earth, blasting, drilling or excavating is needed.
The whole iron-extraction operation, leads to air pollution, due to poisonous emissions during construction and operation phases. This not only kills surrounding wildlife, but also causes diseases to the very workers in the mines.
Other mining activities release metals and chemicals into water streams, which in turn create big amounts of acid that contaminate the water, causing health hazards to aquatic organisms and other animals that drink the poisoned water.
Aluminium is mainly extracted from bauxite ore, through a certain process.
The Red Mud (aka bauxite tailings, red sludge, bauxite residue or alumina refinery residues (ARR)), is the waste product of this process. For each ton of aluminum extracted from bauxite, 1 to 1.5 tons of red mud is produced too. There are big issues of its’ disposal, and it is hazardous to the environment.
Besides the pollution itself, it costs much more energy to extract metals from mining, than simply re-melt our metallic trash. Up to 56% of energy is saved by recycling steel instead of mining iron.
Aluminum and Steel are sustainable metals, which means they can be recycled again and again without really losing quality or material.
All mentioned serious issues can be very easily avoided by one simple act: Recycling. Bring any metallic trash to the right place for recycling and be a part of saving resources, the environment, land and water life, air, climate and even human lives! Don’t stop at tin and aluminum cans. Also bring door handles, metallic chairs or tables, any metallic object that you want to get rid of, and yes, even those metallic beer lids! Remember we are not one person but billions, and together we can make a huge impact.