Resource Efficient Innovations Database (REID)

Recycled and lightweighted aluminium aerosol cans

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Recycled and lightweighted aluminium aerosol cans
A manufacturer has developed a process to enable recycled aluminium to be reused to form light weight aerosol cans
In Use – Commerically available

Benefits
Packaging Reduction, Recycled content/recyclability, Reuse

Product Categories
Drinks, Food, Home Improvement, Household & Personal Care, Other

Relevant Materials
Metal

Relevant Packaging Formats
Aerosols, Bottles and jars, Cans

Supply Chain Phase
Design, Supply Chain handling systems and store replenishment, Transportation, Other

Details

Currently, almost all extruded aluminum aerosol packaging is made from virgin aluminum "slugs." These metal disks are impact extruded to produce packaging for aerosol products ranging from body sprays, sun screens, air fresheners and numerous other markets.
 
However, following a lengthy development process  this producer of aluminum slugs and of recyclable aluminum beverage cans, will use aluminum recycled from it's global beverage can operations to produce the new recycled slugs. The resulting new metal alloy exhibits increased strength and allows lightweighting of the container without affecting package integrity. The technology breakthrough will allow the company to lightweight its extruded aluminum aerosol packaging by as much as 10 percent, with further lightweighting expected in the future.
 
The  "ReAl" (TM) brand slugs will improve the carbon footprint of extruded aluminum packaging by reducing the amount of metal in the package and further enhance environmental performance by lightweighting the resulting extruded aluminum packaging.
 
The new process was developed by Ball packaging in the USA.  Ball will begin producing cans made with ReAl slugs initially in Europe, and has applied for patents on its "ReAl" packaging. 
 
The content in this entry has been obtained from publicly available information sources only (e.g. press releases, website and trade press articles) and is subject to completion of a validation process with the technology supplier.

Potential Benefits

The greatest benefits of this new technology are in packaging material reduction and use of recycled materials, resulting in a reduced carbon footprint.  Further benefit will be derived across the supply chain from the fact that the resulting packs are around 10% lighter than using virgin material.

Intellectual Property

 Ball packaging has applied for patents on its "ReAl" packaging.

Consultant View

This innovation has created a number of useful benefits in terms of reuse of recycled materials (which had not been possible previously) as well as lightweighting of the resulting pack and according to the manufacturer increased pack strength.
 
Researchers are recommended to search the REID database for other similar examples of light-weighting and use of recycled and alternative materials which may be of interest.

Contacts and Further Information

Scott McCarty
Director, Corporate Relations
10 Longs Peak Drive
Broomfield, CO 80021-2510
Tel: 01 (303) 460-2103
 smccarty@ball.com

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