On October 1st, a group of more than 20 pupils, students and teachers from Poland came to Alunorf in Neuss, accompanied by the management of the RECAL Foundation for Recovery of aluminum beverage cans. Thomas Geupel, Commercial Director of Alunorf, explained the various advantages of aluminum and how Alunorf prepares the metal for a next use - in the endlessest possible concentricity of use, collection, recycling, processing and reuse.
The group spent a few days in Germany and the Netherlands, invited by Hydro and the can manufacturer Ball. The environmentally-conscious young people deserved the trip as a reward: they were part of the "Green School" recal program in Poland extraordinary diligence collected aluminum beverage cans - and thus set a good example for other young people across Europe.
Hans-Jürgen Schmidt, Head of Product Ecology Rolled Products, praised the guests for their work: “The Polish RECAL Foundation supports young people in actively appreciating aluminum and its benefits and in ensuring that it is used efficiently. We think that's great, also for the environment. "
The non-profit foundation RECAL, founded in 1995, initiates environmental education programs at schools and kindergartens, in municipalities and environmental groups. These programs promote and promote nationwide activities for the recovery and recycling of aluminum beverage cans. RECAL Managing Director Jacek Wodzislawski praised the long-term commitment and ongoing support from his four shareholders, namely Hydro, who represents Hans-Jürgen Schmidt as the longest-serving member of the RECAL Supervisory Board.
Most groups of collectors benefit from RECAL material in their campaigns. This provides large containers and handy collection bags as well as information material - and a magnet that can be used to sort tin cans from the non-magnetic aluminum cans. Students at the University of Wroclaw are particularly creative: over a year they collect all of the beverage cans used by their fellow students, then use them to build a large installation - a model of aluminum applications such as airplanes, automobiles or trams - and then sell them scrap trade for recycling.
Poland's third largest can market in Europe
Poland is the third largest market for aluminum beverage cans in Europe after Great Britain and Spain: Poles drink from more than 4 billion a year, and the market is still growing strongly. Well-established educational programs and the high material value of aluminum have made enormous progress in recycling aluminum cans in Poland: from 2% in 1995 to currently 76%.
Two out of three aluminum cans are recycled across Europe. Germany is the recycling leader in Europe, where 96% of all aluminum cans used are recycled. Schmidt: "Collecting and recycling this valuable metal is essential for the good environmental performance and the clean, positive image of aluminum." Can recycling saves 95% of the energy that would otherwise be required to produce new aluminum - and have it recycled it happens infinitely often, because the material retains all of its properties even after it has been melted down and used again.
Alunorf is the largest plant in the world for melting and hot rolling aluminum. As a 50% joint venture operated by Hydro, it produces, among other things, more than a quarter of a million tons of canned strip per year. A typical beverage can for a beverage of 0.33 or 0.5 liters only weighs between 11 and 15 grams, which is why Alunorf needs far more than 2 million of these cans to add another nine meter long and 30 ton heavy ingot as raw material for the rolling mill to pour - an impressive number, also for the top collectors of cans from Poland.
|INFINITE ALUMINUM: At Alunorf, the traveling Poles learned a lot about the aluminum value chain.|