It takes more engergy to recycle aluminum because it has a higher melting point and a longer supply chain. However, plastic uses petroleum where aluminum does not, so as far as total “green-ness”, it is a trade-off.
Recycling aluminum cans saves more energy relative to the production of new aluminum cans than recycling glass saves relative to the production of new glass. Recycling aluminum uses only about 5% of the energy of producing new aluminum while recycling glass uses about 70% of the energy required to produce new glass. This is one of the reasons why aluminum is the most recycled material in the US.
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