• Home Home

Expert reveals what you should actually be doing with the aluminum foil pieces you've been recycling: 'I had no idea about this'

"It is now one of my favourite hacks!"

"It is now one of my favourite hacks!”

Photo Credit: @banish.au / Instagram

Aluminum foil is recyclable — but apparently, many of us have been recycling it incorrectly, according to one content creator.

The scoop

Lottie Dalziel (@banish.au), who posts recycling and sustainability information, shared some tips on what to do with used aluminum foil with her Instagram followers.

You can't recycle tiny pieces of aluminum, Lottie explained. Instead, you are supposed to save up your aluminum foil until you can mash it into a ball (about the size of a tennis ball) and then toss that ball into the recycling bin.

"Aluminum is infinitely recyclable, which means that every time you recycle it, it maintains its quality and can be turned into new aluminum," Dalziel explains. 

How it's helping

As Lottie points out, aluminum can be recycled indefinitely, with old aluminum being remade into new aluminum without losing anything in the process. That makes it quite a bit more environmentally sustainable than plastic, 91% of which is never recycled due to a variety of factors — including that the price of virgin plastic is still much lower than the price of recycled plastic.

Aluminum, on the other hand, can be made much more cheaply from existing aluminum than from raw materials, as the process of making virgin aluminum requires 90% more energy than the recycled version.

All of this should provide excellent motivation for making sure that your used aluminum foil ends up in tennis ball–sized balls in the recycling bin.

What everyone is saying

Many of Lottie's Instagram followers had never heard about the correct way to recycle aluminum foil.

"I had no idea about this until I saw it on your page last year! It is now one of my favourite hacks!" wrote one commenter.

"I'm collecting it in a jar to make a biiig ball lol," wrote another.

Another commenter offered their version of the hack, writing, "Or put it inside a soda can, then you're good as well. Same for staples."

Join our free newsletter for easy tips to save more, waste less, and help yourself while helping the planet.

Cool Divider