Fun Facts

Fun Facts About Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling Containers


FACT: Making new cans from used aluminum cans uses 75 percent less energy than making a can from virgin materials. It takes 200 million Btu's to produce a ton of aluminum cans from virgin materials and only 50 Btu's to produce a ton of aluminum cans from used cans.

FUN: How many Btu's do you need to make tons of aluminum cans from used cans? How many cans can you make with 75 Btu's?

FACT: Strong magnets easily separate steel from other recyclables.

FUN: Unscramble this word: ATESGNM

FACT: Vegetables and soups are packaged in steel cans.

FUN: What are the missing letters?



FACT: Many new products can be made from recycled steel cans.

FUN: Name an item in your clothes closet that is made from steel. What geometric shape does it have?

FACT: Iron ore, scrap, coke, limestone and energy are required to make steel.

Scrap is old steel from cans, cars, appliances, construction materials, and other steel products. It is a necessary ingredient in the production of all new steel.

Iron ore is mined and shipped to steel mills where it is processed into molten iron. The molten iron is loaded into a furnace and with the scrap steel becomes part of the new steel mix.

Limestone helps ensure that the new steel is of high quality by causing the impurities which may be in the molten iron to rise to the surface. These impurities, known as slag, are then skimmed off the top leaving the molten iron.

Coke is made from coal. Coal is mined, shipped and heated in an oven until it becomes coke. Coke fuels the process of making molten iron from iron ore in the blast furnace.

FUN: Name three kitchen appliances that contain steel. Of the four materials used to make steel, which one matches these colors? White? Black? Silver? Red/Brown?

FACT: Glass containers protect the products inside them. They preserve freshness and taste.

FUN: Name something sweet that comes in a glass jar. It goes well with peanut butter.

FACT: Glass is transparent, so unless it has been tinted a very dark color, we can see what's inside.

FUN: What word is the opposite of transparent?

FACT: In modern glass factories, sand is mixed with soda ash, limestone and recycled glass known as CULLET. Soda ash is a white, powdery mineral which makes the sand melt at a lower temperature. Limestone, another mineral, makes the glass stronger.

FUN: What other recycle process uses limestone to make a new product?

FUN: Unscramble the word -- TLUCLE


Fun facts were provided by the Steel Recycling Institute, the Glass Packaging Institute and the Container Recycling Institute.

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