Amazing Aluminium

Aluminium is amazing! It's so versatile. Find out all about how amazing aluminium is in our amazing series, Amazing Aluminium!

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Amazing Aluminium – Why Aluminium is so good and useful

Have you seen the statue of Eros in Piccadilly Circus? It’s been there since the 1890s and was put up to commemorate the Earl of Shaftesbury’s work in replacing child labour with school education.

Did you know that the statue of Eros is made out of the same material as the foil you wrap your sandwiches in, and the same material as the can you drink out of – aluminium!

Aluminium has been around for so long, in fact…

A form of aluminium was used as early as the 5th century, when it was used to dye fabrics, but it wasn’t until 1825 when the metal itself was discovered by a Danish physicist called Hans Christian Ørsted.

The fact that statues like Eros are still intact highlights one of the qualities that aluminium has. It’s super durable – it’s good at keeping its shape and doesn’t disintegrate. 

There are lots of other reasons why aluminium is so useful…

It can be recycled: Aluminium is 100% recyclable. Not one ounce needs to end up in landfill. 

Take your drink can: once put into a recycle bin, it could be back on the shelves in as little as 60 days!

two yellow and silver can

It can be used in lots of different things: Cameras, drink cans, kitchen foil, even statues like Eros!

Quite a lot of cars and buses have aluminium in their engines because it’s tough – and light.  And that helps vehicles be more fuel efficient.  

We can even recycle aluminium in massive things like aircraft – and you don’t just find aluminium in planes, but also space craft too!

Every kilo matters when you’re launching space rockets.  So just think, space exploration would be a LOT more expensive without aluminium. 

rocket ship photography

Lots of electronic gadgets use aluminium because it doesn’t corrode, it isn’t toxic, it doesn’t create sparks and it’s not magnetic. Now whilst a list of things that something CAN’T do might sound unhelpful, when you’re dealing with electricity these are vital qualities. 

Oh, and it’s a fantastic conductor! An electrical conductor – helping carry electricity around. That might be over power lines or circuit boards like you’d find in your phone.


Properties: Lightweight, Durable, Malleable, Corrosion Resistant

Used In: Foil, Drinks Cans, Aerosols, and much more!

Every year the UK uses:

  • 9 billion cans
  • 16,000 tonnes of foil containers
  • 425,000 miles of household foil
  • 580 million aerosols


  • Aluminium packaging is 100% recyclable back into any type of aluminium product: from a foil tray to a car engine part, or a drinks can to an aeroplane.
  • 68% of aluminium packaging is recycled in the UK. 82% of aluminium drink cans are recycled.
  • Recycling a tonne of aluminium saves 9 tonnes of C02 emissions and 4 tonnes of bauxite – the raw material from which aluminium is made.
  • Recycling cans saves up to 95% of the energy it takes to make aluminium from raw materials. 
  • Recycling one aluminium can saves enough energy to power your TV for three hours.
  • It takes the same amount of energy to make one new aluminium can as it does to recycle 20.
  • 75% of all the aluminium ever made is still in circulation today.

Click here for some amazing free aluminium education resources!

And remember to always recycle your aluminium – whether a drink can or foil tray, foil wrapping or bottle cap – always put your aluminium into your recycling. After all, aluminium is infinitely recyclable.

MOBILE: Amazing Aluminium

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Amazing Aluminium

Aluminium is amazing! It's so versatile. Find out all about how amazing aluminium is in our amazing series, Amazing Aluminium!

More From Amazing Aluminium