As plastic becomes more of a problem for the sustainability of our planet, aluminum cans are back in style. Aluminum can be recycled more effectively than plastic and is not as harmful to the natural world. Since this fact can’t be ignored, many beverage manufacturers are finding new ways to innovate the canning process to make it as affordable and sustainable as ever.
Sustainable Future of The Beverage Canning Industry
When it comes to the beverage packaging industry, the businesses involved are realizing that the more sustainable their operation is, the more lucrative it becomes.
Beverage companies are making the move away from plastic and back to aluminum cans and glass. Even water companies like Liquid Death have committed to producing spring water in cans. Not only does the water taste great out of a can, but it is also much better for the environment.
Imagine all the plastic water bottles that are consumed on a daily basis. Then think about how many of those aren’t recycled at all. Even if every single bottle is recycled, plastic can’t be fully recycled unless it is made into another plastic product. The cycle continues. Furthermore, if you leave a plastic bottle in a hot car or in the sun, the plastic can melt into the liquid and go into your body when you drink it. Whether it’s beer, soda, or water, canned beverages are becoming popular again because they are more sustainable than plastic.
Another way that beverage companies are making their products more sustainable is by working with beverage copackers. By working with an outsourced production company, beverage companies can expand with inventory without the infrastructure. This is more sustainable because the production equipment is already running for other drink manufacturers.
Most of these production companies offer full service, meaning that they can make the beverages, make sleeves and labels, and package them. If you work with a beverage packaging company that cares about sustainability, you can rest easy knowing that you aren’t being wasteful. This helps both the bottom line and the environment of the planet.
When beverage companies do use plastic, it is more sustainable to use custom molding. This is a specific manufacturing process that creates plastic more effectively. Blow molding is the mechanism to create hollow plastic parts like bottles. While plastic will never be good for the environment, this molding process allows manufacturers to use recycled plastic to create their bottles. Whenever a company is creating a plastic product or package, it’s better for it to come from recycled plastic.
Even when beverage manufacturers recycle plastic, they aren’t typically able to recycle all of it. It’s difficult to put that material completely back into a new package. This isn’t the case for cans. Aluminum can be recycled almost infinitely, making them the preferred option for beverage makers.
Have you noticed that wine has been more commonly packaged in cans? This is because they are quite sustainable. Glass, on the other hand, is more sustainable than plastic packages but less sustainable than cans. Glass bottles are made up of around 30 percent recycled glass content, which is low considering that glass doesn’t degrade over time and can be recycled by local and regional markets.
Beverages of the Future
While plastic has become a mainstay of the beverage industry, who is to say that it will last forever? The beverages of the future will likely be packaged in 100 percent recycled materials. Plastic will phase out, replaced by other methods of packaging. It doesn’t matter what you’re drinking, it tastes better if you know that it was packaged in a recycled can or bottle.
Sustainability is a big issue, in general, these days. When it comes to recycling and the future of the planet, plastic bottles are a huge culprit. If we can figure out new ways to package drinks and avoid the use of plastic—especially un-recycled plastic—not only will drink companies have more lucrative operations, the world will be better off.
The fact that beverage companies are starting to care about the sustainability of their products is a good sign that the tide is turning towards a more sustainable mindset in general. Only time will tell how the mindset will change further.