Many schools collect aluminium cans and foil as a way of combining a practical recycling programme with education about the environment. Selling collected material through a local cash for cans centre can provide valuable extra resources for schools and parent associations, perhaps to fund more environmental education through books and visits, or to buy plants and tools for a 'green club'.

Or, if your school is looking for ways of combining education on the new citizenship agenda with the environment, you could see if there is a local community project, perhaps providing social employment for people with special needs, who would like to receive donations of aluminium foil and cans.

Top tips for successful collection projects

  1. Pupil power! Give project responsibility to the pupils - perhaps start a Green Club - let members decide what to buy with the money raised.
  2. Set a realistic target - success breeds success!
  3. Use a barometer chart to plot progress towards the target.
  4. Communicate! Parents, local businesses and the press can all help, and need to be kept up to date with progress.
  5. Give a presentation in school assembly to get everyone collecting. alucan materials can be used in class to get the environmental messages across.
  6. Make it easy for everyone to give their cans for recycling: provide collection containers next to vending machines, in the tuck shop and at the school entrance.
  7. Make sure the project is planned and managed efficiently: storage and transport need to be determined at the outset - and how the cash is to be handled!
  8. Older pupils could run alucan recycling as a business enterprise project.

Primary schools

A special resource pack, which provides curriculum opportunities for 7 to 11 year-olds in science, English and design and technology, is available to teachers in UK primary schools. Topics covered in The Material World: Investigating Aluminium Packaging include:

  • materials in the home and in the environment
  • the basic states of matter variation and classification
  • properties of materials
  • the extraction and use of aluminium
  • packaging materials and the importance of recycling

The pack provides work cards, fully integrated teachers' notes and posters to stimulate children's interest in recycling and the environment.

Secondary school / college projects

Students of all ages should find the information they need to complete their educational projects on this website. We regret that we are unable to answer specific queries, but please let us know if there are topics you would like covered, and we will try to include them at the next update.