Virtually, the aluminium of the beer can you had last night is everlasting, even if its use is a very recent application. Aluminium is not found in nature, for centuries its value rivalled that of gold. Only at the end of the 19th century, its extraction became sufficiently cheap to start its commercial use. Once extracted, aluminium can be used for a plethora of applications. A “permanent” material – like glass and steel – that is not consumed and can be used and reused endlessly. “The Italian aluminium industry,” explains Cesare Maffei, chair of CiAl (Italian Consortium for the Recovery and Recycling of Aluminium Packaging), uses material derived quite exclusively from recycling. Aluminium is increasingly seen as a permanent material, nearly unbeatable when it comes ...