There is a deeply entrenched myth that aluminium is not an environmentally friendly material. Scientific papers report on the toxicity of aluminium if found in the environment in high concentrations, but with aluminium products such as AluExcel landscape edging, the aluminium is extremely stable and presents no risk to the environment.
Using aluminium rather than other materials also brings other environmental benefits. Let’s take a look at them.
It is estimated that of the 1 billion tonnes of virgin aluminium produced over the last 100 years, 75% of this is still being used, recycled and reused today, thanks to its infinite recyclability.
It is also estimated that about 8% of the earth’s core contains aluminium in different minerals.
Aluminium’s natural resistance to corrosion means it has become popular for applications where low-maintenance durability is essential. Take for example the Empire States Building, constructed in the 1930’s with a high proportion of aluminium in its design and still standing strong.
A material that has a long lifespan and requires little to no maintenance is also an environmentally friendly material.
As we have already commented, aluminium is a widely recycled material with a high yield of reusable metal from the recycling process.
Virgin aluminium uses a large amount of energy in the extraction process and is carbon intensive, but recycling aluminium saves 95% of the energy and nine tonnes of CO2 emissions per tonne of aluminium.
The high strength to weight ratio of aluminium is another factor that benefits the environment compared with alternative materials.
Take landscape edging as an example. Concrete is the traditional material for creating borders between areas of hard and soft landscaping, but aluminium edging that performs equally in terms of strength is a fraction of the thickness and weight.
This means that a far greater amount of aluminium edging can be carried on a truck load or on a smaller, more energy-efficient vehicle, and in turn this reduces the carbon footprint of the supply chain.
While it cannot be denied that there are aspects of aluminium production that may be deemed harmful to the environment, in every instance where aluminium or an alternative product is used there is an environmental cost somewhere along the line. But the green credentials that aluminium can boast set it above many of its rivals and therefore it can be fairly said that aluminium is a green metal.
At Kinley we are committed to innovative metal landscape edging solutions that optimise design creativity, provide contractors with materials that are easy and cost-efficient to use and ensure we tread as lightly as possible on the planet. For more information on our range of edging products, visit www.kinley.co.uk/products or contact us on 01580 830688 to speak with one of our team.