Why do we use aluminum cans?

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Protection of the beverage quality

Aluminum cans offer better protection against light and oxygen, which is particularly important for beverages. Light and oxygen can compromise the quality and taste of beverages. Aluminum cans prevent these influences more efficiently than PET bottles.

Beverage longevity

PET bottles also provide good protection but are more permeable to gases than aluminum cans. This means that carbon dioxide from carbonated beverages can escape more quickly in PET bottles, affecting their shelf life and freshness.

Efficient transportation

Aluminum cans are more robust against mechanical stress and temperature fluctuations. They are less susceptible to damage during transportation and storage. PET bottles can be easily damaged and are more sensitive to temperature, which can affect their shelf life. Glas bottles are heavy to transport. Hence ecolocial footprint shipping glas bottles is worse.

Reducing foodwaste

The shelf life of beverages in cans is approximately twice as long, reducing food waste. Aluminum cans offer better protection against light, oxygen, and moisture compared to PET bottles. This is important for maintaining the taste and quality of beverages for a longer period and therefore helps reducing foodwaste.

Sources: SSKEG, NAPCOR, Aluminum Association, Earth911

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Aluminium cans

recycles best

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The aluminum can has the highest recycling rate

In principle, all three beverage containers can be recycled, although aluminium generally has a higher recycling rate.

AluminiuM cans

Aluminium Cans Stats

Glass bottles

Glass Cans Stats

Pet bottles

Aluminium Pet Bottles Stats

Source: International Aluminium Institute, London

The aluminum can has a higher recycling rate

Roughly 75% of all aluminum ever produced is still in use and actively recycled. This is due to aluminum's high recyclability, which allows it to be reused indefinitely without quality loss. In contrast, the situation with plastic is vastly different. Of the approximately 6.3 billion tons of plastic waste produced globally since the 1950s, only about 9% was recycled by 2015. 12% was incinerated, and the majority, around 79%, ended up in landfills or the natural environment.

The disparate recycling rates and recyclability of these materials highlight that aluminum has a significantly more sustainable material cycle than plastic. Aluminum's comprehensive recyclability not only reduces the need for primary materials but also significantly decreases energy consumption and CO2 emissions compared to primary production from ore. On the other hand, plastic exhibits high loss rates and environmental impacts, making its ecological footprint significantly larger.

Source: McKinsey & Company, ResearchGate GmbH

Energy consumption & recycling cycle

The production of aluminum cans indeed requires more energy than PET bottles. However, aluminum is infinitely recyclable, whereas PET loses quality after multiple recycling cycles. Therefore, the ecological footprint of cans is lower.

Source: MDPI, Basel

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The world is getting eaten up by plastic

Plastic pollution has become one of the most pressing environmental issues, with millions of tons of plastic waste accumulating in landfills and natural environments each year. The longevity of plastic means it can persist for hundreds of years, breaking down into microplastics that contaminate water, soil, and living organisms.

Microplastic is everywhere. In lakes, rivers, and oceans, microplastics have already been discovered, including in the sediments at the bottom of water bodies, even in the deep sea. The plastic particles are water-insoluble, slow to degrade, and can accumulate in organisms. Complete chemical breakdown can take several hundred years. Material properties for beverage packaging.

Impacts on humans: Microplastics have been detected in fish, shellfish, drinking water, milk, and honey. Through the food chain, plastic particles and their pollutants enter the human body and can accumulate there.

Reducing plastic usage and opting for aluminum cans can help preserve natural habitats, reduce pollution, and contribute to a more sustainable future. By making conscious choices in our packaging materials, we can curb the environmental degradation caused by plastic and move towards a healthier planet.

Source: ecostar, Greenpeace

World Eaten By Plastic

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