Aluminium recycler Novelis has announced that it is working on a new single alloy design for an aluminium can that would allow it to manufacture a 100 per cent recycled can.
Novelis president and chief executive Phil Martens speaking at the American Metal Market Aluminium Summit in New York recently revealed that the company has been researching the technology to develop a can that can be made entirely from recycled material.
He said: “Novelis recycles 40 billion cans a year, more than anyone in the world. Indeed, we re-melt and re-cast all the used beverage cans we can get our hands on. And the more cans we recycle, the less primary metal we require in the manufacture of can body and can end sheet.
“But even if UBC recycling rates worldwide were 100 per cent, we still would not be able to produce can sheet that is made of 100 per cent recycled material because of the two-alloy design.
“To address this barrier, one thing Novelis can do is re-think the manufacturing process itself. We are working with our customers on the next generation of aluminium can employing a single-alloy design for both can body and sheet. This will make possible a 100 per cent recycled can – the ultimate sustainable package.
“Not only will such an achievement mark a step change in manufacturing efficiency, it also will give our marketing teams a lot of red meat to chew on. Competition for packaging in the beverage segment is fierce, and the fact that more than two-thirds of PET bottles end up in landfills provides an environmental opening for the aluminium beverage can.”