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A circular economy for aluminium beverage packaging

Source:Ball Corporation     Date:2021-09-10
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THE 2030 sustainability goals of Ball Corporation, leading supplier of aluminium packaging, focused on enhancing product stewardship and social impact to create value for stakeholders. They also stated the company’s vision for how industry partners can collaborate to achieve a fully circular aluminium beverage packaging system.


The company’s global sustainability goals, which will drive performance across the life cycle of its products, include a commitment to achieving net zero carbon emissions before 2050 and transitioning to 100% renewable electricity by 2030. They also include ensuring all aluminium is purchased from certified sustainable sources and converting 80% of Ball’s global beverage can volumes to its lightweight STARcan designs.


‘Toward A Perfect Circle’

Ball also shared ‘Toward A Perfect Circle,’ an industry vision which sets out how, by working together, beverage brands, retailers, and aluminium beverage packaging manufacturers and their suppliers could make aluminium cans, bottles and cups – the world’s most recycled beverage containers –surpass a 90% recycling rate from today’s rate of 69% and increase the global average recycled content rate to as much as 85%. Today, recycled aluminium uses only 5% of the energy compared to using virgin material, and recycled cans have the potential to be back on the shelf in as little as 60 days.


To achieve this vision, Ball will drive multi-stakeholder action that includes developing a low-carbon roadmap for the aluminium beverage packaging sector. The company will also advocate for investment in infrastructure and technology to support a more effective and efficient recycling system in the regions where it operates. It will work with partners to publish this multi-region recycling roadmap and carbon pathway plan within the next year. 


“As a world-leading manufacturer of aluminium beverage packaging, Ball has a responsibility to our stakeholders and the planet to improve the environmental performance, social impact and economic returns of our business and take a leading role in driving industry-wide solutions to the climate crisis,” said John A. Hayes, chairman and CEO of Ball. “Our customers are seeking low-carbon and truly circular packaging options as they work to fulfil net zero targets and meet growing consumer demand for sustainable products. Infinitely recyclable aluminium cans, cups and bottles are the solution. We look forward to further enhancing our products and developing an industry-wide circularity roadmap in collaboration with our partners.”


Ball will be engaging with key stakeholders across the aluminium beverage packaging sector to develop and promote the best methods, policies and actions to achieve a fully circular aluminium beverage packaging system.


Felipe Baruque, Vice President, Global Procurement & Sustainability Packaging, Anheuser-Busch InBev said: “Ball is playing an important role leading the sector towards a better world. Surpassing a 90% recycling rate and 85% in recycled content will require teamwork across the sector and can have a phenomenal impact for our planet. We are also thrilled to see commitments Ball made in their sustainability goals which also support a path toward net zero carbon. All these objectives are deeply aligned with our vision and will have all of our support to become a reality.”


Steve Fisher, CEO Novelis Inc. said: “As the world’s largest recycler of aluminium, Novelis is proud to partner with Ball to advance a shared vision for sustainable aluminium beverage packaging and support their efforts to foster more long-term industry collaboration. Having recently announced our own ambitious sustainability targets to become a net carbon-neutral company by 2050 or sooner and reduce our carbon footprint 30% by 2026, we are committed to working together with Ball and other members of the value chain to continue to expand the use of lightweight, infinitely recyclable aluminium to achieve a more circular economy.”


José Domingo Berasategui, Managing Director, GHI: “Today with our own 4.0 technologies, BeyondAlea®, our aluminium recycling furnaces are already able obtain high metal yields with minimum energy in fully automated plants. As a leading designer and manufacturer of aluminium recycling technologies, we welcome Ball’s circular ambitions and we are ready to support the industry towards the circularity transition towards 2030.”


Clarissa Moriawski, CEO and Co-founder, ReLoop: “It’s time for governments to lay the legal framework for effective collection and real recycling. The focus should be on quantity collected with the highest quality to easily enable circular systems – packaging with many lives – reusable and recyclable. The cumulative benefits from circular systems, like deposit return, mean less litter and carbon emissions; more valuable resources for local recyclers which means more jobs; and giving producers the opportunity to include large amounts of recycled content in their new packaging.”


Chuck Riegle, Senior Vice President, Governmental Affairs & DRS Compliance, TOMRA Systems ASA: “TOMRA’s technologies help to drive deposit return systems by making beverage container redemption easy for consumers, while reducing costs in a shared-mission to achieve more than 90% collection and superior material quality that enables used containers to be turned into new containers over and over again. With the right recycling policies, it is possible to achieve these high levels of circularity. We are pleased to work with Ball and partners across the industry toward greater sustainability in beverage packaging, now and in the future.


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