People world-wide are concerned about the ecological situation and are increasingly willing to take action for a better environment. This can already start at home, at school or at the work-place by collecting and sorting household and packaging waste. Supported by decision-makers and facilitated by numerous initiatives organised by green and consumer groups and the industry, people can themselves actively contribute to a more sustainable lifestyle.
In order to visualise this shift towards a growing environmental conscience, the Hungarian aluminium beverage can recycling initiative EAI, the Hungarian packaging waste organisation, Öko-PANNON and the European Aluminium Association (EAA) have embarked on a project which symbolizes this commitment. With the help of hundreds of volunteers, the assistance of the Technical University of Budapest and the support of several local companies active in packaging and beverage can recycling the three organisations have built an ecological landmark, a copy of the famous Eiffel tower, fully covered with used aluminium beverage cans!
The elegant and outstanding shape of Gustave Eiffel’s creation is known throughout the world. In its own time, this unique piece of architecture was the symbol of the endless opportunities offered by its metal construction.
The tower symbolises not only France, but also the industrial revolution. When it was erected, recycling was not thought of yet, since the general view was the trust in the infinity of natural resources. From today’s ecological point of view, we can see a new symbol and warning in the tower: that of the limited availability of the Earth’s mineral resources.
By updating the original and covering it with a new, environmental message in the form of 15.000 used aluminium beverage cans ready for recycling the shift in thinking about the use of our natural resources has been symbolized.
The used aluminium beverage cans on the outside of the structure are 100% recyclable and the recovered aluminium can be fully used for the production of new cans or other valuable aluminium products, without any loss of quality or properties!
EAI, the Hungarian aluminium beverage can recycling initiative supported by the Packaging Group of the European Aluminium Association and the European beverage can-makers has been active for almost a decade to promote aluminium beverage can recycling. Since its establishment in 1999 one of its most successful communication tools has been the unique combination of recycling and art, to demonstrate that used packaging is not a waste but a valuable resource for making new products including pieces of art.
In order to celebrate 10 years of dedicated recycling promotion in Hungary it was decided to use the unique architectural masterpiece of the Eiffel Tower as the carrier of this message: by working together, individual citizens can make a difference and help to meet the common sustainability objectives of our society. All the used beverage cans put on the tower were gathered thanks to hundreds of committed people, each making a personal statement that a better environment starts with personal initiative.
The tower has been unveiled on the 12th of September 2008 at the central square of the ‘aluminium capital’ of Hungary, the city of Székesféhervar, in the presence of the Mayor and Vice-Mayor and Mrs Edit Herczog, Hungarian Member of the European Parliament (see pictures below).
The tower will be exhibited at the ‘Aluminium Essen’ Fair in Essen, Germany, from 23-25 September 2008.
• Tower height: 12 meter
• Ground size: 6, 26 x 6, 25 meter
• Structure: steel – 1.6 tonne
• Cover: 15.000 used aluminium beverage cans
• Building time: 2.150 hours