Coatings innovation plays a critical role in circularity and preparing for the packaging future By Anurag Raj

Increased recycled aluminium demand has led to new aluminium-rolling capacity in the U.S. to supply the growing metal packaging industry. For instance, Novelis Inc. recently broke ground and began construction on its $2.5 billion recycling and rolling plant in Bay Minette, Alabama. Steel Dynamics Inc announced plans to build a recycled aluminium flat-rolled mill in Columbus, Mississippi.

The strong global aluminium packaging recycling rates drive the increased recycling capacity. According to Ball Corporation, the global recycling rate for aluminium beverage cans stands at 70%. Increasingly, leading industry bodies are establishing greater recycling goals. In fact, European Aluminium and Metal Packaging Europe launched a joint roadmap towards achieving 100% aluminium beverage can recycling by 2030. Comparatively, plastic packaging’s recycling rate stands at 8.7%, a statistic published by the Environmental Protection Agency and last updated for 2018. Compared to aluminium, plastic bottles, jars and other similar hard-to-collect, sort and recycle articles have a much lower recycling rate. Overall, aluminium’s homogenous material enables better recycling than plastics’ multi-layered and varied packaging.