02 May 2024

European aluminium producers to boost circularity of beverage cans

Brussels | In April, four leading flat-rolled aluminium manufacturers and members of the European Aluminium Packaging Group (EAPG), Constellium, Elval, Novelis and Speira, have signed an agreement to engage in a standardisation project to maximise the recycled content levels of the beverage can and thus substantially lower carbon emissions, focused on increased recyclability of the can end.

Today, the aluminium beverage can body and the can end are made from two different aluminium alloys. While the rolled aluminium for the can body already contains a high percentage of recycled aluminium and supports ultra-high recyclability, there is additional sustainability potential related to the can end. The project will focus on exploring alternative, more-recycling–friendly alloy(s) for the can end. The use of recycled aluminium drastically reduces direct carbon emissions and saves 95% of energy compared with primary aluminium production. An alternative alloy with a high recycled content for the can end will enable can makers to offer cans with strongly reduced carbon emissions. The ultimate aim is to develop an aluminium beverage can which can be produced from up to 100% recycled aluminium and to deploy it on the market.

EAPG will provide the platform to execute the project, building on its vast experience in developing such collaborative activities. The multi-year project aims to fully engage other value chain partners directly involved in the process of can-making, filling, and closing.

“Collaboration and pooling of expertise on this vital topic is something that all company members of the Packaging Group of European Aluminium are fully committed to, and that will help decarbonise our industry“, stated Maarten Labberton, Director of the European Aluminium Packaging Group. “The project is a key driver towards full circularity and will make beverage cans an even more sustainable packaging. In addition, with the steady growth of Deposit Return Systems across Europe, we will be able to recycle more cans via can-to-can remelting solutions, in line with the joint roadmap with the canmakers towards 100% beverage can recycling by 2030.”

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