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ALUMINUM VS CARTONSHere's the cold, hard truth
Minimizing the amount of plastic that is produced is the #1 key to preventing plastic from polluting our planet and harming ecosystems. If it isn’t made, it can’t end up where it isn’t supposed to. Carton companies won't tell you this, but their packaging has a ton of plastic. Between the plastic layers in the body and the cap, this can be as much plastic as a plastic bottle!
Psst! There are some aluminum bottles out there that have a plastic neck and cap, using more plastic than a PET bottle!
As of 2020, only about 60% of U.S. households have access to curbside carton recycling. That means that cartons are rarely recycled. The industry hides this and does not publish rates but estimates are around 16% (way lower than PET). Aluminum beverage containers are recycled 50% of the time, and other scrap aluminum is recycled about 70% of the time.
Cartons are made of 6 layers of paper, plastic, and aluminum. In order to recycle them, those layers need to be separated. This is an expensive and inefficient process, so many recycling companies are unwilling or unable to process them. Cartons suffer from the lowest recycling rates of any beverage container.
Cartons use paper, and those fibers become shorter and lose strength when they get recycled, so it’s hard for cartons to use post-consumer a.k.a. recycled material. No closed loop here...
Aluminum, on the other hand, uses an average of 73% recycled content, largely reducing its environmental footprint.
Myth: The plastic used by cartons is not harmful because it is “made from plants.”