Resource Efficient Innovations Database (REID)

Light-weight aluminium bottles and cans

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Light-weight aluminium bottles and cans
Innovative "Coil2Can" technology for manufacturing 30 to 40% lighter aluminium beverage bottles and cans
In Use – The technology is currently in use with a number of large beverage manufacturing companies in North America.

Benefits
Packaging Reduction, Recycled content/recyclability

Product Categories
Drinks

Relevant Materials
Metal

Relevant Packaging Formats
Bottles and jars, Cans

Supply Chain Phase
Collection, Design, Raw materials / Ingredients, Recovery

Details

Light-weight aluminium bottles and cans were originally produced using the impact extrusion (IE) process. This process is relatively slow, which limited the light-weighting capabilities and also limited the use of these bottles to special promotional packages for global beverage brands and "everyday" packages for niche beverages.  In addition, the bottles produced using the IE process required 99.7% pure virgin aluminium (1070 assay). This "soft" alloy is required due to the IE process limitations, which means that post consumer waste cannot be utilised. In addition, it was not possible to produce resealable bottles using impact extrusion without placing plastic sleeves on the bottles to ensure a proper interface with industry standard bottle closure systems. This combination of plastic and aluminium also creates recycling challenges.
 
The use of "Coil 2 Can or (C2C) technology to produce the bottles has enabled the bottle weight to be reduced to 30-40% less than the first generation containers and thus creates value in terms of cost and sustainability.
 
Aluminum is an infinitely recyclable material. Infinitely recyclable means that the products made from a material can be recycled infinitely into the same material without a loss in physical properties. From a packaging perspective that means that a recycled aluminum bottle can become an aluminum bottle again without a loss in package performance. In terms of sustainability aluminum cans are a very desirable product in the recycling stream as the use of  recycled aluminum requires only 5% of the energy required to manufacture virgin aluminum.

In addressing the cost and sustainability issues of the first generation aluminum bottles C2C allows the intrinsic benefits and sustainability of aluminum packaging to be realized. As a packaging material aluminum has superior barrier properties (plastic), superior breakage resistance (glass, plastic) and superior UV protection (glass, plastic). Lighter weight aluminum bottle packaging also results in fewer carbon based transport emission throughout the entire supply chain.
Light-weight bottles produced by "C2C" allow marketeers to consider aluminium bottles as an "everyday" package for larger scale beverage offerings bottles.
 
The technology has been developed by Exal Corporation in the USA.
 
The content of this entry has been obtained from publicly available information sources ( e.g. press releases, website and trade press articles).  The content has not been validated by the technology supplier and no additional information has been provided by the technology supplier.

Potential Benefits

The greatest benefit of this technology is in reducing the amount of aluminium needed to form a bottle or can and the fact that it facilitates use of recycled aluminium as a packaging material.  The manufacturer claims this process allows a weight reduction of up to 30 to 40% against comparable bottles and cans manufactured using the traditional IE process.
 
The increased production speeds achievable through the new technology also enable it to enter the mass production market for aluminium bottles and cans for the first time.

Intellectual Property

"C2C" is Exal Corporation’s innovative, proprietary technology for the manufacturing of lightweight aluminum containers.

Consultant View

Advancements in the production of aluminium containers is an environmental advantage for this market, as it brings with it improved material and production efficiencies. In addition, the production improvements are enabling an exciting new packaging option to move from more niche to mainstream markets. This is important as companies continue to look for new and innovative options for packaging their products.
 
Reviewers should be aware that there are many examples of light-weighting of packaging on the REID database.  It is recommended you search the database using the term "light-weighting" to discover other innovative alternative light-weighting solutions.

Contacts and Further Information

Exal Corporation
1 Performance Place
Youngstown,
Ohio
OH 44502,
United States
 Tel:  (330) 744-2267

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