Aluminum Cans Carry Lower Carbon Footprint than Glass or Plastic Equivalents in Beverage Transportation and Refrigeration, Finds New Study

Aluminum Cans Carry Lower Carbon Footprint than Glass or Plastic Equivalents in Beverage Transportation and Refrigeration Finds New Study

ARLINGTON, VA – According to a new study conducted for the Aluminum Association by ICF International, the combined greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with the transportation and refrigeration of beverages in aluminum cans are lower than those associated with that of beverages in glass or plastic bottles under the same conditions.

Study: Aluminum Cans Still Sustainable Beverage Package of Choice

20 Percent Improvement in Carbon Footprint; 70 Percent Recycled Content 3X Other Packages   

Celebrating the World’s Best Beverage Container

A mainstay on supermarket shelves, in vending machines and on kitchen counters everywhere for more than 50 years, the aluminum can is making a comeback of sorts – with craft beer brewers nationwide expressing their love for the humble package. Lightweight, infinitely recyclable and impervious to light and air, brewers love the can because it keeps beer fresher and protects taste.

BPA in Aluminum Cans

Many aluminum food and beverage containers sold in the United States feature a protective liner on the interior of the can containing trace amounts of Bisphenol A (BPA). This liner forms a barrier between the product and metal, providing protection against food-borne diseases. These coatings have been critical to improving food and beverage safety since being introduced more than 50 years ago.

The Aluminum Association understands that ongoing research and study is taking place on the safety and efficacy of BPA and we will continue to monitor these developments closely. However:

Beverage Can Management

The aluminum can is a package built for the circular economy. A used beverage can (UBC) serves as a “technical nutrient” as it is returned to the material stream as feedstock at the end of its useful life. Aluminum cans are recycled over and over again in a closed loop process. Aluminum is also by far the most valuable material in the recycling bin on a per ton basis.

U.S. Aluminum Industry 2012 Recycling Rate

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