Aluminum packaging scores as a functional and ecological all-rounder on Packaging Day
Packaging is a constant companion of consumers in everyday life. It makes an important, but often neglected, contribution to society. Many consumers are unaware that aluminum packaging only accounts for around one percent of the packaging marketed in Germany, although the high-performance all-rounders are apparently omnipresent, according to General Association of the Aluminum Industry in Germany (Gesamtverband der Aluminiumindustrie e. V. or GDA).
Reason enough to take a closer look at aluminum packaging on June 10, 2021, Packaging Day in Germany. Whether as a beverage or aerosol can, tube, meal tray or as a foil that is sometimes visible, but often also appears as a hidden champion in composite packaging, aluminum packaging provides convincing answers to the requirements of brand manufacturers and consumers in a modern, sustainable society, said GDA.
Product protection and recyclability are high on the agenda
With a view to the best possible resource efficiency for the benefit of current and future generations, aspects such as optimal product protection and recyclability play a decisive role in the design of packaging. This is exactly where sustainable aluminum packaging can score in comparison to other packaging materials, said GDA. Even with a material thickness of only 6 micrometers, aluminum represents a functional barrier that efficiently protects food and other products from external influences such as light, oxygen and hydrogen. In this way, food and product spoilage and waste, which in our consumer society must be avoided from a moral and ecological point of view, can be effectively combated.
Recycling without loss of quality and high material value as decisive assets From an ecological point of view, lightweight aluminum packaging enables energy savings during transport, and even at the end of its life, aluminum packaging, which can be recycled almost infinitely without any loss of quality, delivers a convincing performance in terms of resource efficiency.
“With a current recycling rate of 93.2% for aluminum packaging marketed in Germany, the material cycle is almost complete. The continuous expansion of the sorting and recycling infrastructure in Germany and, last but not least, the high value of aluminum, which is by far the highest of all packaging materials, have also contributed to this achievement. Legal initiatives such as the Green Deal or the Circular Economy Action Program of the EU Commission will continue to promote the design for recycling, from which so-called permanent materials such as aluminum will benefit”, said GDA Managing Director Marius Baader.
Courageously tackling the challenges of a changing society
The picture is rounded off by the great consumer friendliness of aluminum packaging in an increasingly aging and at the same time more mobile on-demand society. Easily manageable packaging formats in a wide variety of sizes offer tailor-made solutions for senior citizens, single and family households. And even with the rapidly increasing online trade, aluminum packaging cuts a fine figure thanks to its robustness and attractive appearance. “Even if aluminum packaging still accounts for by far the smallest proportion of all packaging marketed in Germany on Packaging Day in 2021, the slogan “Small, but powerful!” rightly applies due to its outstanding performance. And it impressively shows the growth opportunities that arise for the manufacturers of aluminum packaging if they courageously take up the current challenges of a society in transition in a demanding competitive environment”, concluded Gregor Spengler, Head of Packaging – Sustainability – Recycling at GDA.