Looking around my kitchen, I can see 3 open cans of soda that my family is drinking. This is a small number compared to the average 597 soda cans that average American consumes. In fact, a shocking average of about 131 billion soda cans are produces in America every year. This is especially shocking as the United States has made no move towards improving the environmental impacts these seemingly innocent cans have.
Soda cans are also said to have a bigger environmental impact than plastic water bottles. These countless soda cans are being dumped into land fills, and because these soda cans are 99% aluminum, they are very resistive to corrosion, which makes them more difficult to break down. So, they can just sit in these landfills for years. After the soda cans sit there for decades, the toxic chemicals used to make them seep into our water supply and soil, eventually ending up right in our bodies after consuming them. Also, the production of the soda cans is incredibly harmful. Tons of fuel is used to produce these cans. So much so, that to produce one soda can takes the equivalent of the energy in ⅓ a tank of gasoline. Also, the aluminum soda cans are made from is refined from bauxite, and bauxite mining affects the environment every year.
We have a responsibility to try and find ways to reduce this enormous impact aluminum cans have on the environment. Recycling is one simple way to do this. An aluminum can can be recycled over and over again. They are turned into new cans and can be put back on store shelves within 60 days. The aluminum can industry reclaims 63% of used cans and 25% of American aluminum comes from recycled scrap.
I think we all have a duty to try and do our part as everything we, as a group, do to the environment will eventually come back around and affect us. It’s not a difficult thing to simply place a can in a different box, which is surprising considering the amount of litter I see every day. To conclude, we can all play a small part to help keep the environment clean.