Canned or bottled water?
We want consumers to make informed decisions. That’s why we encourage you to decide!
Canned or Bottled Water?
Both canned and plastic packaging can have environmental impacts, but plastic bottles generally have a greater environmental footprint. Plastic bottles are a major contributor to plastic pollution, and they take hundreds of years to decompose in the environment. Additionally, the production, transportation and disposal of plastic bottles requires significant amounts of energy and resources.
Aluminum cans, on the other hand, are more easily recyclable and have a smaller environmental footprint compared to plastic bottles. According to the Aluminum Association, over 75% of all aluminum ever produced is still in use today and recycling aluminum uses 95% less energy than producing new aluminum.
However, it's important to note that the environmental impact of these packaging options also depends on the location of manufacturing, sourcing of raw materials, transportation and recycling rate. For example, if bottled water is produced and consumed locally and the recycling rate is high, it would have a lower environmental impact than a similar amount of water packaged in cans that are transported from a distant location and not recycled.
What do we think?
At Shapiro, we prioritize the recycling of aluminum cans over plastic bottles. Aluminum cans have a higher scrap value and are in high demand for their use in a wide range of products. Additionally, aluminum cans are easier to recycle and can be recycled into new cans without losing quality.
The recycling process for aluminum is straightforward and efficient, and it uses 95% less energy than producing new aluminum. This not only helps to conserve natural resources but also makes it a cost-effective option for us.
In contrast, plastic bottles are less valuable and in lower demand than aluminum cans. These bottles are made from various types of plastic, which makes it difficult to recycle them, and they are often not accepted at curbside recycling programs. It also requires more energy to recycle plastic bottles than aluminum cans.
At Shapiro, we strive to make the recycling process as efficient as possible while maximizing the value of the materials we collect.
The Shapiro Story
Our company takes root as Max Shapiro, Bruce’s grandfather, begins his one-man horse-and-wagon operation.
All in the family.
Melvin Shapiro joins his father Max in operating the business. The Shapiro family begins working out of a friend’s warehouse. Fun fact: many years later, Bruce would allow this same friend’s son to share warehouse space!
Putting down roots.
Shapiro moves into our first permanent location at 2937 Sheridan Avenue in St. Louis, Missouri.
Operations level up.
Forklifts are introduced at the Shapiro scrap yard. Prior to 1959, all scrap was handled manually and moved with wheelbarrows. Melvin Shapiro brings in Stan Dobkin to help run the business.
Passing it on.
Melvin Shapiro passes away, and Irv Shanke, Bruce’s uncle, takes over company operations. Bruce Shapiro begins working in the business and his vision for the future begins to develop.
Changing of the guard.
Bruce’s mother, Ceal Shapiro, makes a substantial investment in the business. Bruce Shapiro, along with Stan Dobkin, take over company leadership. Ceal also pitches in at the company handling the administrative work.
Taking the show on the road.
Shapiro’s first outside salesperson joins the organization and begins selling Shapiro’s services on the road.
Making room for growth.
Headquarters relocates to 601 E Red Bud Ave, where the current St. Louis plant still operates today.
Another new generation.
Rick Dobkin joins his father Stan at Shapiro, starting out working in operations at the St. Louis plant.
Technology taking hold.
Company transitions its office operations from handwritten records to computerized records.
El Paso plant opens.
Shapiro opens a plant to better serve customers in the southern U.S. and Mexico.
Another new plant, a whole new market.
Dickson, TN plant opens, and Shapiro begins processing ferrous scrap metal for the first time.
New cities, new materials.
Second Shapiro plant opens in Springfield, Missouri and begins processing steel for the first time.
Fitzgerald, GA plant opens.
A booming RV business creates increased demand for recycling.
Shapiro joins BIR (Bureau of International Recycling), an international organization for recyclers, and gains a global view of the industry and metal markets.
The Great Recession impacts the business as metal prices fall. According to Bruce, “This was a difficult time for business, but a good time to learn lessons.”
McAllen, TX plant opens.
Markets expand in the southern U.S. and Mexico.
Mobile, AL plant opens.
Shapiro expands operations into Mobile in order to better serve a partner generating a large amount of scrap in the area.
New location and new perspectives.
Shapiro opens a plant in Denton. Shapiro also looks outside the scrap industry to hire Chief Operating Officer, Bob Alvarez, who brings years of industrial operations and human resources experience.
Decatur, AL plant opens.
The company continues to grow as markets rebound.
Sales and service team expands to 12 employees in response to the company’s healthy growth.
Transforming the industry.
Shapiro continues to innovate, drive transparency, and create opportunities for its partners and employees in the recycling industry.
Get Started with Shapiro
Connecting with your Shapiro Metals expert is the first step toward solving your recycling challenges.