Aluminum Is Not Perfect (Yet), But There’s A Lot to Love

Updated: Mar 31

Aluminum is much better than plastic in so many ways, starting with its recyclability. And, it just keeps getting better.

Pure Drinking Water in An Aluminum Can

Aluminum is a recycling hero–easy to recycle and infinitely recyclable. In fact, nearly 75 percent of all the aluminum ever produced is still in use today. Positive side effects of recycling aluminum include the peace of mind that your can will be handled properly, contributing to the circular economy, and reducing the need to mine for virgin material.


The good news is that recycling in the U.S. is relatively easy. The bad news: Only 46 percent of aluminum is recycled in the United States, which is not great, especially when compared to our friends in Europe (76 percent) and Brazil (a whopping 97 percent). When we don’t recycle aluminum, it creates a need to mine new material, which unfortunately contributes about two times as much carbon into the atmosphere as the plastic production process.


When it comes to aluminum, our founder Jason Momoa put it best in his YouTube debut of Mananalu in April 2019, “There’s only one thing that can really…save our planet, as long as we recycle, and that’s aluminum.” Emphasis on as long as we recycle.


A Green Future for Aluminum

Aluminum’s recyclability is also its hope for the future. As we already mentioned, aluminum can be recycled infinitely, and there’s no need to add virgin material to the process. Plastic, on the other hand, is not as straightforward. In fact, most of it can’t even be recycled, like food wrappers, plastic bags and straws.


Another positive for aluminum’s future is that the industry is committed to making the material even more sustainable. For example, our partners at Ball Corporation (the largest aluminum producer in the world) have pledged to enable a 90 percent global recycling rate for aluminum products by 2030. A transition like this is a major step in the right direction, especially when you consider that recycling aluminum saves 90 percent of the energy it takes to make a new product.


Even more good news: Recycling aluminum is something that starts on the individual level. Yes–finally–there is a way to feel like you’re really making a difference for Earth’s future, and without any heavy lifting! Unlike plastic, when you toss an aluminum can into your recycling bin, you don’t need to follow it up with a hope and a prayer–only 3-5 percent of aluminum is lost in the recycling process.


Of course, it’s not always possible to find a recycling bin when you’re out and about, but Ball has a solution for that. As part of their 2030 Sustainability Goals, they are working to address the lack of infrastructure for can collection in places like public transportation, offices, and sporting and music events. This should make a huge difference in increasing the recycling rate in the United States, which according to Ball, could decrease the environmental impact of aluminum by 13 percent. We’ll drink to that (and then recycle responsibly)!


We applaud Ball’s efforts to further increase the sustainability performance of aluminum between now and 2030. We’re also proud to have them produce our aluminum cans, which are infinitely recyclable and currently made with 69% recycled aluminum.


We are More than a Gorgeous Recyclable Bottle

With that said, our commitment to enabling a better planet doesn’t start and stop with the use of aluminum cans. We are a Certified Plastic Negative product, which is enabled by our partners at rePurpose Global, who remove the equivalent of one plastic water bottle from ocean-going waste for every can of Mananalu sold. Additionally, we offset our entire carbon footprint–from employees to production and shipping–through carbon offsets and recently received our Climate Neutral Certification.