How much does aluminum foil help or hurt the environment?



  1. 0 Votes

    Aluminum is a readily available metal in earth’s crust (actually, the most abundant, if my memory of 9th grade Physical Science serves me right). Mining it does harm the environment though (all those huge diesel engines at work)…. It is fairly easy to recycle, though, so in this respect it is good for the environment (or, at least, not nearly as bad). BUT, and this is a big one, the process of manufacturing aluminum foil is somewhat energy intensive. (Indeed, almost all manufacturing processes are.) So it is somewhere in between I’d say (so long as it is recycled). Do we really need it?  It is nice to use for packaging up leftovers. But what could work better? Ceramics? Tupperware? I think more research on these types of questions is in our best interest. And once we have conclusive evidence that X is the best way to do something (environmentally speaking), everyone should adopt that practice (or be forced to pay for their misdeeds… so we can restore)… I’d say my best answer is: Inconclusive… but I’m leaning toward: There are definitely things that are a lot worse for the environment (like plastics, combustion engines, Freon/ CFC’s, war, industry/ big business, etc.)… so go ahead and wrap that sandwich up in aluminum foil! Just make sure you recycle it instead of pitching it in the garbage!

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