Aluminium recycling

More than 75% of the aluminium ever produced is still in use today (Source: IAI). The reason is simple: its astounding recyclability. Constellium is committed to preserving our natural resources and wholeheartedly promotes aluminium recycling as part of our industrial strategies.

Aluminium recyclability

Aluminium is 100% recyclable. If collected properly, it can be reused infinitely without deteriorating in quality. This is true whether it is virgin, scrapped, or recycled. Recycled aluminium can therefore substitute for primary aluminium when processed appropriately.

Aluminium recycling

Constellium has unique expertise in aluminium recycling across all our business activities, and we work in close partnership with customers to support their sustainability objectives.

The benefits of aluminium recycling are multifold.

    Energy savings: Re-melting used aluminium requires only 5% of the energy needed to produce the primary product.
    Limiting greenhouse gas emissions: Since the recycling of old scrap began, over one billion metric tonnes of CO2 emissions have been avoided (Source: IAI). In automobiles, 100 kg saved on the mass of a car is equivalent to a reduction of 9 g of CO2 per kilometer.

    Aluminium scrap_© Dominique Sarraute 2010

    Re-melting used aluminium requires only 5% of the energy needed to produce the primary product

    Resource savings: Energy savings necessarily translate into lower running and resource costs. In 2008, about 40% of European aluminium demand was satisfied by recycled material. The majority is used by the automotive sector, and much is used in the engineering, packaging, aerospace and building industries. (Source: EAA).
    Reaching targets: The more aluminium in a product, the more chance it has of being recycled. Aluminium can greatly help companies achieve their sustainability objectives. The average use of aluminium in cars jumped from 50 kg in 1985 to 157 kg nowadays and is expected to progress in this upward trend.

Supporting sustainability

Industries, governments and consumers are increasingly aware of global sustainability concerns. In this context, used aluminium is taking on renewed importance. This is due to a number of factors.

    The aluminium industry is developing and refining its recycling processes. This helps assure aluminium’s position as the most cost-effectively recyclable material.
    Greater aluminium recycling efficiency translates into ever higher recycling rates for various applications.

The figures speak for themselves: the collection rate of aluminium Used Beverage Cans in Western Europe practically tripled from 21% in 1991 to 63% in 2008. Aluminium recycling in European buildings reaches 85%, and 95% of aluminium is recycled in the transportation industry. In Northern Europe, up to 92% of the aluminium from used beverage cans is recycled, along with 95% of aluminium from cars, and 98% from buildings (Source EAA).


Recycled aluminium accounted for 40% of Europe’s total supply in 2008.

Last update 17 April 2013 Back to top