Metal Packaging Industry: How to increase sustainability across the metal packaging value chain

In recent years, the metal packaging industry has seen a significant increase in demand for canned food and drinks.

Metal packaging is all around us. Open your fridge or cupboard, and you’ll see items of food and drink enclosed in metal packaging. We rely on it for its ability to keep items fresh and cool.

As a beverage package, they’re a win-win, bringing significant benefits for both brands and consumers. They are also vital to the sustainability value chain.

It’s little surprise, then, that metal packaging is big business. According to market research company ReportLinker, the European Metal Can market is expected to reach US $18.14 billion by 2026.

Metal packaging’s popularity is showing no signs of slowing down: Over the next five years, the global beverage cans market is projected to grow five percent year-on-year, with 100 billion cans produced through 2025.

So, why choose metal packaging for beverages?

Aluminum is the can of choice for many new beverages on the market, from flavoured waters and energy drinks to canned cocktails and hard seltzers.

For consumers, it’s about taste and flavor. Aluminum cans contribute to a drinks’ taste by preserving flavor. They’re also easy to carry, making them portable and perfect for consumers on the go.

Aluminum cans are also sustainable, something that’s of increasing importance to consumers.

Compared with other packaging materials, aluminum is 100% recyclable and can be recycled over and over again, within a short time frame. Importantly, it won’t diminish in quality, no matter how many times it is recycled.

As a result, metal packaging is one of the most widely recycled materials in the world. Brazil recycles 98.4 per cent of their aluminum cans, while the US recycling around 56 per cent of their aluminum cans.

How can suppliers contribute throughout the beverage can sustainability value chain?

Aluminum cans are key to the sustainability value chain, helping consumers care for their planet and brands meet Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) goals by being infinitely recyclable.

By using aluminium cans, brand owners can increase their recycled content and lower their use of single-use plastics – improving their sustainability footprint in the process.

Suppliers such as Henkel can help manufacturers increase their process efficiency while reducing environmental impact.

They do this through sustainable product innovations and technical expertise, thanks to their in-depth knowledge of the manufacturing process.

Henkel’s in-house technical experts regularly consult on how to optimize processes – from improving efficiency and working towards sustainability goals, to introducing new technologies and helping reduce water and energy consumption.

Why a strong supplier partnership is key to success to the sustainability value chain

More and more people are looking for environmentally sustainable products. Brands that are open to a strong, collaborative relationship with a knowledgeable supplier can enjoy access to a broad technology portfolio and the expertise of a globally innovative team.

To learn more about this topic, check out The Metal Packager podcast or visit the Henkel Metal Packaging website.

About the author

Aziz Mabrouki

Aziz Mabrouki is Henkel’s Director Market Segment Head for Metal Packaging in Europe. 

With 23 years of industrial experience spanning the Metal Coil, Automotive, and Metal Packaging industries, his background includes building and leading diverse global teams and driving profitable growth through innovation. He offers a wealth of product expertise to both internal stakeholders and external customers.

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