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28 May 2015

The Life of Aluminium Can

Hello everybody, I am an aluminium can and today I am going to tell you the story of our kind----the species that could destroy the Earth.

500 years ago, I was just a normal piece of bauxite, just like everyone else. I lived in a dark cave, doing what bauxite normally does. The peaceful life of mine was broken when a ray of light struck my eyes. Shadows of miners with pickaxes were cast on the cave wall. They laughed with joy at finding the precious aluminium mine. They soon picked me, together with my brothers, and then they loaded us into a truck. We travelled for a long time, until we reached the factory. We were processed into what humans call alumina. Then we were turned in to aluminium sheets that were used to make cans.

  • Recycle

I was put on a shelf and sold to a person that didn't know what it is to recycle. My brothers were cleaned and remelted to make new ones over and over again. Aluminum could be recycled countless times without loss of material.   However I was not that lucky. I was thrown into the river and I drifted out to sea. It was due to me, that bauxite five times more than what it took to manufacture me had to be extracted from the Earth’s soil. The process of treating it and turning it into usable alumina will produce a gigantic amount of caustic mud, which pollutes water which damages both animal and human health.

Additionally, when the alumina is melted, it produces large amounts of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide that contributes to global warming. It also produces sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide. These are toxic gases that are the main cause of smog and acid rain. These environmental disasters weather buildings and cause damage to the human lungs. The energy wasted in the production of aluminium to replace me could even power a laptop computer for about 11 hours! I feel so bad about myself, that I caused so much damage to the environment. Now, I am finally degraded over the period of 500 years. After demolishing the Earth’s ecosystem and in guilt of what I did, I can finally say goodbye to this world.
By Andrew Bulla, 9C

R E C Y C L E   T O    M A K E   A   D I F F E R E N C E !