European aluminium producers drive forward the circular economy for beverage cans

Company representatives from the manufacturers of aluminium rolled products Constellium, Elval, Novelis and Speira

Four members of the European Aluminium Packaging Group (EAPG) and the manufacturers of aluminium rolled products Constellium, Elval, Novelis and Speira have signed an agreement for a standardisation project that aims to increase the recycled content of beverage cans and thus significantly reduce carbon emissions. The project focuses on improving the recyclability of the can end. Today, can bodies and lids are made from two different aluminium alloys.

While the flat-rolled aluminium for the can body already consists of a high proportion of recycled aluminium and thus ideally supports the circular economy of the can, there is further sustainability potential for the can lid. The project is therefore focussing on researching alternative, particularly recyclable alloys for the can end. The use of recycled aluminium can significantly reduce carbon emissions, as recycling aluminium requires 95 percent less energy than the production of primary aluminium.

An alternative alloy with a high recycled content for the can end enables can manufacturers to offer beverage cans with a significantly reduced carbon footprint. The aim is to develop a beverage can made of aluminium with a proportion of almost 100% recycled aluminium and establish it on the market. EAPG has extensive experience in the development of such collaborations and provides the platform for the realisation of the project.

Establishing a functioning circular economy for beverage cans by 2030

The project is scheduled to run for several years and is intended to comprehensively involve other partners in the value chain who are directly involved in the production, filling and capping process for beverage cans. "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 percent beverage can recycling by 2030."