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aluminum foil containers have a high recovery value

Last Updated on مارس 28, 2024 by يويو

Takeout food can be packaged in many ways, and aluminum foil containers are one of the options. Many restaurants are starting to use the new type foil packaging containers, which has a more appealing look and a stronger structure. However, people often compare these to traditional paper boxes, questioning their recyclability and potential impact on the environment.

Rest assured, aluminum foil meal containers are indeed recyclable and hold significant recycling value.

aluminum foil containers have a high recovery value
aluminum foil containers have a high recovery value

Benefits of Recycling Disposable Containers

Indeed, compared to paper meal boxes, there are fewer choices for aluminum foil meal containers in terms of recycling methods.

First of all, foil meal containers cannot be composted. If left in the natural environment, it will probably take about 400 years for them to be oxidized and decomposed. In addition, foil containers cannot be incinerated because they will release harmful gases into the atmosphere and cause pollution.

Of course, these are not the best choices for aluminum foil products. According to a study by Delft University of Technology in 2005, the net recovery rate of aluminum in aluminum products is over 98%. This means that aluminum foil products have a very high recycling value. As for the recycling cost, looking at the average cost composition of aluminum foil, 70%-75% of the production cost of unit aluminum foil comes from raw materials. The energy required to produce recycled aluminum is only about 5% of that required to produce primary aluminum, and carbon emissions are only about 10% of that required to produce primary aluminum. This shows that the production cost of recycled aluminum is much lower than the production cost of primary aluminum. At Aikou, all waste materials produced during the production process are neatly packaged and then sent to the recycling plant. This effectively reduces costs and has important significance for environmental protection work. Note: The specific proportions may vary due to various factors (such as region, technology, market prices, etc.). In addition, unlike disposable paper or plastic products, even if they are reused, there will be obvious defects in appearance (at least it will not be as white as before, unless additional dyeing is done, but this will also increase costs). After being remanufactured, aluminum foil products still have the same shiny metallic luster.

Recycling Process of Disposable Aluminum Foil Food Boxes

  1. After the meal, pour out the leftovers that are left in the disposable aluminum foil containers. It will be best to rinse them to avoid residual sauce on them.
  2. Put the foil containers into the designated recycling bin.
  3. The collected garbage will be sent to the recycling plant. There, workers will sort the garbage, and aluminum foil products will be picked out and organized.
  4. The organized aluminum foil scraps will be re-cleaned to remove residual impurities (such as food residues, sauces, etc.) as much as possible.
  5. The cleaned aluminum foil products will be torn into small pieces by machines.
  6. The shredded foil pieces will be melted in a furnace. In this process, any coatings and food residues will be burned off, or because of the different specific gravity, they will form layers with liquid aluminum and be further filtered.
  7. The molten aluminum is poured into molds, reformed into aluminum ingots, and then remade into other aluminum products.
Aluminum foil will be cut into small pieces before being melted
Aluminum foil will be cut into small pieces before being melted

For different countries and regions, there will be different situations in the recycling of aluminum foil products, more often depending on the attitudes of consumers and recycling plants. Honestly, most consumers will not actively clean the disposable aluminum foil containers after dining. They are disposable, so there’s no need, right? Besides, some recycling plants, especially individual waste recyclers, don’t like to purchase these meal boxes with food residues and sauces, which will increase their handling costs. This will ultimately lead to these high-value recyclable metals being simply landfilled and treated with other garbage.

Fortunately, in most countries, people have basically achieved the active classification of domestic waste. And large-scale recycling plants are willing to recycle all kinds of sorted waste for corresponding regeneration treatment, especially aluminum foil, which is a high-value recyclable. This not only saves consumers the trouble but also allows every item to regain value, reducing the burden on the environment.

the organized aluminum foil scraps
the organized aluminum foil scraps

Future Trends in Food Packaging

With the increase in global environmental awareness, and consumers increasingly valuing the convenience and innovation of packaging, the trend of food packaging will focus more on sustainability, environmental impact, and personalized design. Biodegradable and compostable paper and plastic packaging, they still need time to degrade, and will occupy valuable land resources. Relatively, the recycling rate of aluminum foil is higher, which can reduce unnecessary waste of resources, thereby better protecting the environment. After all, aluminum, as a material, is widely used in the industrial application field, not only in food packaging. Therefore, Aikou believes that in the future, highly customizable design new disposable aluminum foil meal boxes will be more favored by people.