We were asked recently whether tinplate is as recyclable as aluminium – so, which is better from an environmental standpoint? –
Tinplate is as recyclable as aluminium. All tins are made from steel and the tinplate is an external coating. 78% of steel (which would include tinplated steel) is recycled in Europe. In the UK it is 79% - V - 73% for aluminium.
Recycled aluminium saves 95% of the energy required for primary product. Tinplate saves 70% energy. This being said, steel requires a lot less energy than aluminium to make by some considerable margin. 211 GJ per tonne for aluminium -V- 22 GJ per tonne for steel. There are some savings to be made over the course of the lifetime of aluminium however, as it is 3 times lighter than steel, but you would need to be transporting it some distance to see these benefits.
Will tinplate rust in a damp environment and if yes, how quickly? Does tinplate or aluminium last longer / wear better in a damp environment?
Tinplate is a coating for steel which gives it the lustrous feel and some protection, however it will eventually rust depending on the environment it is kept in and the product inside. Leaving it open to the elements or putting a water-based product inside will cause tinplate to degrade quicker.
Aluminium does not rust but is softer and therefore you cannot create as many unique shapes. You will notice that most aluminium products are circular or more rounded. This is to offer additional rigidity to the product.
Take a look at our environmental and ethical commitments.