The Shrinking – And Greening – Of The Aluminum Can

Alum Can topsThe Aluminum Association ran an interesting article on “The Ever-Shrinking Aluminum Can”.  Some excerpts:

“Beyond aluminum cans’ advantages relating to its “stackability” and high rates of recycling, its light weight gives it an additional environmental edge over many competing packaging formats.

Broomfield, Colo.-based Ball Corporation over the past 40 years has pursued “lightweighting” as a fundamental part of its business for both economic and environmental reasons. The canmaker has repeatedly reduced both the end diameter of its cans and the amount of aluminum used in its can bodies—to the point where its aluminum cans use 40 percent less aluminum today than they did in 1970.
Ball further notes that:

  • Aluminum cans are the lightest-weight beverage container—at 34 cans per pound—enabling savings in shipping and handling costs throughout the entire supply chain; and
  • The average post-consumer recycled content of an aluminum can is 44 percent—the highest recycled content of any beverage container.”

The Container Recycling Institute has launched a campaign to achieve Zero Beverage Container Waste by 2020. Considering aluminum’s superior recycling rates, this bodes well for the aluminum packaging industry.

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