Aluminium foil consists of a thin sheet of aluminium (around 0.03 millimeters in thickness). As a result of this, it is extremely pliable, and can be bent or wrapped around objects with ease without too much fear of it breaking.

Aluminium foil is widely sold into the consumer market, usually in rolls of around 50 centimeters width and several metres in length. It is used for wrapping food in order to preserve it, for example when storing leftover food in the fridge (the foil also prevents strong smells contaminating other foods), when taking sandwiches on a journey, or when selling some kinds of take-away or fast food. However, it should not be used with acidic foods such as oranges as the acid reacts with the aluminium creating bad tastes.

Aluminium foil actually replaced tin foil in the late 19th and early 20th century, although it is still referred to as such, possibly due to the shorter name.

Aluminium foil is also sometimes used in the training of cats, as they have an inherited dislike of either the texture or noise caused by sheets of aluminium foil, it is possible to prevent cats from jumping on or otherwise damaging furniture by covering its surfaces for a while. Aluminium foil is also used in tinfoil hats which are supposed to reduce the effects of mind control rays (either from aliens or the man).

The extensive use of aluminium foil has been criticised by some environmentalists because of the high resource cost of extracting aluminium primarily as a result of the large amount of electricity used to decompose bauxite (aluminium ore). However, this cost is greatly reduced through recycling.