All minerals on this planet are finite and they must be conserved and used wisely. But without their exploitation our way of life is in question and in some cases it is very difficult to change the way we use resources. Burning fossil fuels for heating, for example, is likely to be with us until the end of this resource is in sight.
Compared with this example, aluminium is in a very fortunate position. One of the most abundant elements present in the earth’s crust, third only to silicon and oxygen, this element is so plentiful that demand is never likely to exceed supply.
Used aluminium has always been an important source of ‘new’ metal. According to industry estimates, about two thirds of aluminium in use is eventually recycled because it is so much cheaper to re-melt it in its metallic form than it is to extract the metal from the original ore.