Aluminum seen poised to grow as reusable material

American researcher’s 212-page book spells out life cycle, environmental advantages of aluminum reuse.

March 15, 2017
Recycling Today Staff

Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins University Press is publishing a book by a researcher who has spent time studying the advantages and limitations in the life cycle of aluminum as a reusable material.


The 212-page book by Carl A. Zimring of the New York-based Pratt Institute is titled Aluminum Upcycled: Sustainable Design In Historical Perspective and will be available in March 2017 from Johns Hopkins University Press.


The book examines the growth of aluminum as a basic material in the past century and the metal’s recyclability and its roster of reuse applications—including an extensive look at its role in furniture design and the production of electric guitars.


“Redesigning industrial production in order to salvage scrapped materials and turn them into goods of durable value appears to support the transition to a circular economy,” writes Zimring.


The author, a professor of sustainability, expresses reservations about large-scale and well-established aluminum scrap remelting processes, writing, “The processing necessary to recycle aluminum involves energy and toxic emissions. Some of these emissions are due to the materiality of the aluminum alloys. Others are due to the creation of goods that were not designed for disassembly.”


Aluminum Upcycled: Sustainable Design In Historical Perspective is available from the Johns Hopkins University Press website here.