Unlike paper or plastic, aluminum maintains its quality through the recycling process, meaning it can be recycled over and over again. As such, you’ve likely used recycled aluminum products without realizing it.
Did you know that those soft drink cans you throw in your blue bin will likely end up as another drink can?
Still, there are designers out there who’ve let recycled aluminum stir their imaginations beyond soda cans and foil. Here are a handful of products you can buy that are made largely or completely from this versatile material.
1. Countertops: I imagined something like the commercial kitchen look when I read the phrase “recycled aluminum countertops,” but ALKEMI-acrylic is more like stone counters. The material combines “pre-consumer waste aluminum flake” with solid surface scrap and recycled acrylic. (via Sunset)
2. Water bottles: There are lots of aluminum water bottles on the market, and, no doubt, many of them contain some recycled material, but Liberty Bottleworks claims its made-in-the-USA water bottles are completely recycled. They’re also BPA-free. (via Inhabitat)
3. Chairs: Emeco started making chairs for Navy ships in the 40s, and aluminum was a natural choice for their products. They now feature a wide range of seating options made from recycled aluminum.
4. Photo Albums: Green retailer EcoXOXO’s photo case doesn’t just stand out because of the recycled aluminum cover. The design on that cover will no doubt grab attention, too.
5. Decorative tile: Want a kitchen backsplash that turns heads? Coverings, Etc.’s Bio-Luminum tiles are made from reclaimed aircraft parts.
6. Knick knacks: Need to create some visual appeal on a shelf or mantle? These animal sculptures from Lily Vernon are molded from aluminum reclaimed from old engine blocks and soda cans.
7. Lighting fixtures: Eleek’s wide selection of pendant lights are all crafted from recycled aluminum (or you can choose recycled bronze). While you’re there, check out some of their other fixtures for the kitchen and bath.
8. Curtain rods: No doubt, you’ve got numerous sets of these simple items around the house — why not make sure they’re low-impact? The Antique Drapery Rod Co. makes its Bauhaus Modern Aluminum rods from 99% post-consumer recycled aluminum.
9. Purses: OK, these aren’t exactly recycled, but Escama Studios makes its purses and bags from reused pop tops.
No doubt we’re just scratching the surface here. If you know of other cool products made from recycled aluminum, share them with us!
About this guest author: Jeff McIntire-Strasburg, founder and editor of sustainablog.org, wrote this post on behalf of Smash Hit Displays, a trade show equipment company that features eco-friendly offerings.