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:

Extended Producer Responsibility

Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is a broad category of recycling program options that, in general, shift the financial burden for municipal recycling away from municipalities and to private entities in the manufacturing or retail stream. The programs vary in their particulars, but they typically incorporate:

Beverage Can Management

Around 70 percent of the U.S. aluminum production is in making recycled aluminum. In the beverage can market, a used can is often recycled over and over again in a true closed loop process. The recycling rate for cans far exceeds competitive packaging tpes but the industry wants to continue to improve. To do that, responsible, comprehensive, and sensible recycling policy is needed.