The soda is composed of corn syrup, citric acid and flavour concentrate, which is a secret recipe containing flavours, preservatives, caffeine and artificial coloring. There are combined first with water and then with carbon dioxide.
• An aluminium can generally weighs 15 grams: 5 of these grams are recycled by melting it, while the rest 10 grams correspond to 40 grams of bauxite ore. The Bauxite is the principal source for the production of aluminium and we can mine (= ricavare) it from a layer of underground rock. Then the bauxite is mixed with caustic soda and roasts with calcium oxide giving as result the “alumina”
• Then a freighter transports the alumina to the Columbian River bar and during this transportation the sediments are with heavy metals and pesticides like DDT stirred up and it is a relevant negative aspect because it destroys tidal marshes, or better a kind of habitat for fish and birds.
• The next important step of the process is the smelting. In fact at this point the alumina is dissolved with cryolite, which is sodium aluminum fluoride and thanks to the carbon electrodes is transmits a jolt of electricity, producing carbon dioxide and PFCs (=perfluorocarbons). This step takes a lot of energy, [which is the equivalent of a quarter can of gasoline]
• About electricity it is important to say that the smelter buy it at discount rates by BPA (Bonneville Power Administration), which is the main provider of electricity in the Pacific Northwest. It power from dams and nuclear plant and these dams damage stream habitats and hatcheries.
• The final step of the of the process is the creation of the can. At this point the products obtained by the smelter are reduced in thickness, trough a process called rolling (= give the form of a can pressing, punching, trimming the aluminium).
Talking about the effects of the recycling of the aluminium, without doubts there several advantages, such as the relation between the weightlessness and the breaking strength (resistenza) and thermal and electrical conductivity ecc.., but at the same time can we find a high number of disadvantages.
- First of all smelting requires a so high quantity of energy to the extent that it is called also “congealed electricity” and as we said before, through the BPA several habitats and hatcheries are damaged. Furthermore this step creates CO2 and PFCs. They are 2 greenhouse gases which affect our global climate.
- Moreover 20 grams of aluminum correspond to 40 grams of bauxite ore and the extraction of this mineral requires a high quantity of energy.
- Then as we show you before, the transportation of alumina provokes the stirring up of the old sediments full of heavy metals and pesticides like DDT, which are very dangerous for our health.
- In Addition the process creates red mud, which is released into groundwater increasing pollution.
In our daily life we throw away a lot of things and wraps. Each kind of food, cloth or object, which we buy is wrapped. For example we take a simple can of soda without thinking what will happen after. Some wrap are recycled, other are sent to the landfills.
Also recycling is not a good process for our earth, we produce several pollutants, which have a lot of effects not only in the environment, but they are bad also for our health. In fact we breath the air and this air can be dangerous for us.
Being aware that the only planet that we know, where life is possible is the Earth, we should take care of it. If we continue to contaminate our planet, we will reach a day in which life will be impossible because of the gases and the large amount of rubbish. We think that many times several things have many useless wrap.
Let’s try to think about a box for shoes: there is a box made of paper and also paper around and into the shoes. What is the reason? This is only an example, but there are many others.
From the article we understood, as we said before, that also recycling can have negative effects, but it is better than throwing away all together. The majority of country in our world does not waste separation. It is a shame.
A perfect example of waste separation is North Italy and especially Trentino: we have to do it and it is not difficult, in fact also the elders and children are able to separate paper from plastic and glass. So, we wonder why many countries throw away the rubbish all together.
So let’s start recycling! It would be the first step! After having reached this aim, we could also try to produce less pollutant wraps.
As we read in the article a can is without doubts easier to use because it is not fragile made of glass. But it is also true that the process and the energy used to create or recycle a can are more difficult and dangerous.
So our advice is to take care of our country because it is the only one, which we have. We cannot destroy it ……