Aluminium cans pave way for more sustainability in the aerosol industry

The world’s leading trade fair for the aerosol can industry, the Aerosol & Dispensing Forum, took place in Paris at the end of January and focused on the burning issue of the moment: sustainability.

The members of the International Organisation of Aluminium Aerosol Container Manufacturers (AEROBAL), in which the leading global manufacturers of aluminium aerosol cans are organized, came up with convincing arguments and solutions relating to sustainability that enhance clients’ corporate strategies effectively and that have already been reflected in the first tangible projects.

As a material, aluminium is characterised by its unique distinguishing features such as low energy consumption during recycling, infinite recyclability without loss of quality, the highest intrinsic value of all packaging materials and lightness. All of these characteristics have a positive impact on aluminium’s sustainability account.

The development of new alloys for aluminium aerosol cans, which is being driven forward in cooperation with slug manufacturers, allows significant weight reductions to be made, and this contributes to even greater sustainability. The same applies to full layer packing for transport, which is increasingly being used in the industry and offers advantages with regards logistics and the environment. And the use of alternative coating systems and technologies is also associated with additional environmental benefits and increased acceptance in the supply chain.

The growing demand for post-consumer recycled material is understandable from a marketing perspective. However, it requires tailor-made closed-loop collection, sorting and recycling systems that have to take into account the issues that arise with respect to infrastructure, the environment, costs and material supply. Material flows need to be traceable here.

Aluminium aerosol can manufacturers have often undertaken considerable effort in advance in order to develop new and complex alloys and lacquer systems and are continuously optimizing these solutions. Client acceptance is needed to compensate for these efforts and to accept new technologies because new developments entail a great deal of effort in terms of time, personnel and cost.

AEROBAL itself is creating a new ‘Sustainability’ category for its World Aluminium Aerosol Can Award in 2020 in order to provide additional incentives for developing innovative sustainability solutions and making them known widely throughout the industry. Sustainable aluminium aerosol cans were also awarded at the Aerosol & Dispensing Forum in Paris.

All in all, the aluminium aerosol can industry is optimistic that it will be able to offer clients and consumers trend-setting solutions to the benefit of the people and the planet.