Environmentalism and sustainability continue to grow momentum and will remain a key trend in the years to come. For the Craft Brewing Industry this has important implications on packaging decisions.
Ball Corporation, one of the world’s leading suppliers of rigid metal and plastic packaging products and supplier of printed aluminum cans to the Craft Brewing Industry (through Cask Brewing Systems) is dedicated to sustainability.
In their 2007 Sustainability Report, Ball highlights the impact of their primary focus which is to provide light-weight, recyclable packaging using recycled material when feasible.
- Lighter packaging uses less material, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and requires less energy for transportation.
- The weight of their packaging has been reduced substantially. Their aluminum cans are 40 percent lighter than in 1969; and their steel beverage cans are 50 percent lighter than in 1970.
- They are also active in efforts to increase the recycling of their packages. Recycling protects natural resources, reduces waste, saves energy and generates fewer emissions. Using recycled material to manufacture cans saves up to 95 percent of the energy required to make aluminum cans from virgin materials.
And metal has experienced great recycling success. Resources to make metal are at a premium and production is energy intensive. Recycling metal pays because it saves on limited resources and energy – it’s better for the environment. However, glass recycling is not experiencing the same success and concerns are popping up worldwide over the stock piles of glass waiting to be processed.
In a recent article about Long Island, Adrienne Esposito, executive director of the Citizens Campaign for the Environment, said problems in recycling glass are “not just on Long Island. This is national.
According to a Citizens Campaign’s recycling report, 75 percent of glass nationwide ends in landfills…. There’s not enough demand or application to offset the volume of material in the market.
And Canadian cities are experiencing the same issues:
All the glass collected this year by Calgary’s new program ended up at the East Calgary Landfill, where it is piling up for want of a buyer. “It’s a product that there just isn’t any demand for,
said Bill Stitt, general manager of Metro Waste Paper Recovery Inc., the city’s recycling contractor, told a local paper.
Edmonton is stockpiling, too, as are a number of other Canadian cities. The price of sand is simply too cheap, and the impracticality of reusing bottles of varying quality and colour is too big a headache to make it marketable.”
Food for thought as you assess your own sustainability strategy.
Our automated and manual canning systems offer a cost effective way to enter the can packaging segment. To learn more you can go to www.cask.com and see a demonstration of our automated system and learn about all of the benefits of canning.