Aluminum recycling for a cleaner tomorrow

How PreZero Pyral and Lidl give waste a second life

Whether it’s the lid of a yogurt pot, grill trays, coffee capsules or spray deodorant cans – these are just some of the packaging items containing aluminum that PreZero sorts every day from private household waste.

No other metal offers more uses. Its extremely energy-intensive to extract aluminum in its primary form. This makes it all the more important to recycle the valuable material efficiently. A challenging task that PreZero Pyral has taken on.

Once packaging, always packaging – the path of an aerosol can

1. Disposal
Consumers dispose of packaging in the yellow bag or yellow garbage can.

2. Collection
PreZero collects packaging through the Dual System.

3. Sorting
PreZero separates the aluminum from the other recyclables in a sorting plant for lightweight packaging.

4. Aluminum recycling through pyrolysis
The most important step in the process: After crushing, the delivered material is recycled into pure aluminum at PreZero Pyral by means of pyrolysis. Laser-based sorting then enables the material to be melted down into homogeneous recyclables.

5. Aerosol can production and filling
Partners of the Schwarz Group produce new aerosol cans from the aluminum, and these are then filled.

6. Retail sales
Lidl sells the deodorant spray in stores, returning the recycled packaging material to where it was originally disposed of – in private households.

A global first – the recycling process of PreZero Pyral

Since aluminum is usually found as part of a metal alloy, it’s difficult to efficiently separate the metals again for recycling. For a joint project within the Schwarz Group, ambitious efforts were made to produce deodorant spray cans with recycled aluminum content. This was made possible by PreZero Pyral's unique process for recovering recyclable materials.

PreZero Pyral is a pioneer in the recycling of aluminum in Germany. Every year, more than 60% of all lightweight packaging containing aluminum in Germany is recycled in this way to recover pure aluminum products. Recovering aluminum through recycling requires only about 5% of the energy needed to produce new aluminum.

Energy- and resource-efficient at up to 550 °C – it's possible!

The keyword here is pyrolysis. At very high temperatures, this process separates the organic content from the metal in the absence of air. We generate electrical energy from the resulting heat. The recycling process developed by PreZero Pyral doesn’t just save considerable energy; thanks to the special sorting process, we can also separate different aluminum alloys from each other.

Unlike conventional aluminum recycling, this guarantees a high degree of purity for the sought-after recyclable material aluminum – and it can be recycled over and over again without any loss of quality.

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