Can colored aluminium cans be recycled?

“Aluminium cans” are known as eco-friendly packaging because they can be recycled endlessly. Many people wonder if the paint color on the cans affects the recycling process. Let’s find out with Aluminium Loop.

The first thing everyone should know is that before recycling aluminium cans, all impurities must be removed, including the paint color on the cans and the inner coating. The cans are then melted back into aluminium bars before being rolled into thin sheets to be used for making new cans

At the recycling plant, used aluminium cans are received compressed into large cubes to facilitate transportation. They are then shredded and separated from iron and other impurities using conveyor belts and magnets.

A large-sized aluminium scrap lump weighing over 1 ton
The process of removing contaminants from aluminium cans has been utilized

Next, the cans undergo a de-lacquering process to remove the external paint and internal lacquer. This step involves a rotary kiln with a gasification system that transforms the paint on the cans, along with any wood or plastic residues that might have slipped in, into fuel. This generates heat, which is then recirculated back into the kiln, significantly reducing the need for additional fuel.

The gasification system is advantageous because it reduces pollution from the burning process and efficiently eliminates paint, recirculating the pollutants and heat back into the kiln, which minimizes energy consumption. This de-lacquering method is not only efficient and quick but also ensures the chemical properties of the aluminium are suitable for manufacturing new aluminium cans.

The aluminium can scraps that have just passed through the furnace

So, there’s no need to worry about paint on aluminium cans being a problem in the recycling process. The paint won’t end up in the new cans, and the de-lacquering step has been developed to have minimal environmental impact.

The aluminium can scraps that have been stripped of color and cleaned
And what about the latest beverage packaging you’ve used? Can it be recycled like aluminium cans? Aluminium Loop suggests considering aluminium cans as an eco-friendly packaging option.

Thanks to the information from Anglo Asia Group a renowned aluminium recycling facility with expertise and experience in the field.