What they Become
Give them a life beyond the landfill
Follow the container to find out how cans, cartons, juice boxes, glass and plastic bottles are recycled.
Aluminum can be melted down and made into new products over and over again. In fact, nearly 75 per cent of all the aluminum produced since 1888 is still in use today and the process uses 95 per cent less energy than using virgin ore. It takes just 60 days to melt a can down, turn it into a new one, fill it with a beverage and place it back on store shelves. In addition to becoming new cans, recycled aluminum is also used to make airplane parts, building facades and bicycles.
There are two types of plastic beverage containers: thinner soda and water containers called PET bottles and thicker juice containers called HDPE bottles. Because both types are made from petroleum, a non-renewable resource, you’re helping to save 3.8 barrels of oil for every tonne that’s recycled.
It takes a lot of minerals, energy and water to make new glass from raw materials. Fortunately, glass can be recycled endlessly without any loss in purity or quality. Glass bottles are primarily used to make new containers, highway marking beads and the glass sand used to purify water. It can also be turned into countertops, flooring, tile landscaping stones and bricks. In Manitoba, most recycled glass is crushed and used as aggregate for road bases and water and sewer installations.
Cartons and Juice Boxes
Cartons and juice boxes can contain up to three different materials: a paper structure, an aluminum lining and a plastic coating. Recyclers use a machine called a hydrapulper to separate the material so they can be turned into different products. The paper fibre is used to make tissues, office paper and more. The left over aluminum and plastic combination can be used in different ways such as creating lumber-like materials and more. With this process, 80 per cent of the original carton is recycled. We also save approximately nine cubic yards of landfill space and 174 litres of oil for every tonne of drink cartons diverted from the trash.