Sunday, 7 March 2010

Pull the other one.


Was at a 21st birthday party last week and someone asked me if I had heard that aluminium can ring pulls have an appreciable amount of titanium in them and that it can be recovered to make prosthetic joints for orphans in third world countries? That these ring pulls are incredibly valuable and should be saved separately from the can?

No, I hadn't.

And, perhaps sadly, no they don't.

Snopes, ever my guardian from internet rumours, has an item on it here.

Why do people fall for these things when a few simple questions would show them to be false?

A few useful questions:

1. Is it mentioned on Does what they say make sense? (Always my first question.)
2. Have you heard the story from a legitimate source or from your grandmother's neighbour's butcher's half uncle?
3. Are people stealing ring pulls from the shops because they are so valuable?
4. If the ring pull is so valuable, why do you only get 80¢/kg for the whole can? (= abt 1.6¢ a can)
5. For the technically minded: what purpose would titanium serve in a ring pull anyway?



  1. Item 5: Exactly! Titanium itself is is difficult to extract from ore, and its typical usages are far removed from what is required of a pull tab.

    And mass production industries aren't going to use anything difficult or expensive if easier, cheaper alternatives are available.

    It is to weep...

  2. Perhaps people enjoy the fantasy and YOU ARE SQUASHING THEIR DREAMS!

    You bastard!

  3. I'm with J Cosmo.

    No, not really.

    After the accident, I now have titanium in my left arm. I'm looking out for third world beggars, cos let's face it I'm surrounded by them. I *know* they want this arm...

  4. Ah, that good old ring of truth, eh?

  5. You know that for some, time wasted on decent research is time wasted when time, they believe, should be wasted for more trivial, time-wasting nonsense!


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