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Life Cycle of a pop can


Andrew Braum

on 20 May 2013

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Transcript of Life Cycle of a pop can

By Andrew B. and Douglas D III. Life Cycle of a Pop Can
(Aluminum) Bauxite is mined in Australia and trucked to a chemical
reduction mill where a half-hour process purifies each
ton of bauxite ore into one-half ton of aluminum oxide. First Step: Making The
Aluminum The aluminum oxide is loaded onto a giant ore
carrier and sent to Sweden or Norway, where
hydroelectric dams provide cheap electricity. After this
month-long journey
across two oceans, it sits at a smelter for up
to two months awaiting further processing. The smelting process takes two hours
to turn the half-ton into a quarter-ton of aluminum, which are cured for two weeks. The smelting process takes two hours to turn the half-ton into a quarter-ton of aluminum, which are cured for two weeks. The aluminum is then rolled into
ten-ton coils and transported to a
warehouse, then cold-rolled to a thickness
one-tenth of their former
thickness--perhaps in this
same country, or perhaps transported again
to a different country. The cans are then palletized ,fork-lifted, and
warehoused until ready for another shipment. These rolls are then shipped
to England, where
the sheets are punched and formed
into cans, and then washed, dried,
painted (twice), lacquered, and flanged
(for ease of attaching the top later),
sprayed inside with anti-corrosives, and
finally inspected. The sugar added to the water
(in the preceding step) was
likely harvested from
beet fields in France, after
which it is trucked, milled, refined,
and finally shipped to England. The cans are shipped to the
bottling company, where
they are again washed, and
then filled with water and
flavored syrup, caffeine,
phosphorus, and CO2 gas. The pop cans are filled at a rate
of 1,500 per minute, sealed with a pop-top, and put into
cardboard cartons--made
from forest pulp that originated from Sweden
or Siberia to the old-growth, virgin forests of
British Columbia, the home of eagles and
wolverines and otters and grizzlies. The phosphorus comes from Idaho,
where it is taken
from deep open-pit
mines, which also
unearths cadmium and radioactive thorium.
This process, a round-the-clock
operation, requires as much electrical
energy as a city of 100,000 people 2nd and 3rd step 4th and 5th Steps 6th and 7th Steps 8th and 9th step: 10th and 11th steps: Palletized again, they are shipped to a regional warehouse, and finally shipped to the grocery stores, where they will likely be sold within three days. The consumer takes a few minutes to consume the liquid, and then disposes of the remaining container in a brief moment. Note that in England, 84% of these cans are not recycled! The US doesn't do much better, getting 60% of its aluminum from virgin ore--at 20 times as much energy as recycled aluminum!! The US throws away enough aluminum every three months to replace its entire commercial airline fleet. 12th and final steps:
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