Ball Corporation will begin construction on its first dedicated aluminium cups manufacturing facility to serve the growing demand for innovative, sustainable beverage packaging for U.S. customers and consumers.

The new aluminium cups manufacturing facility will be adjacent to Ball's existing aluminium beverage can manufacturing plant in Rome, Georgia, and is expected to ramp up production in the fourth quarter of 2020. Ball plans to hire approximately 145 new employees for the cups facility to support the multi-year investment of approximately $200 million. Atlanta-based KBD Group Inc. is serving as general contractor on the project.

"We're increasingly hearing from customers and consumers that they want to do the right thing for the environment, and they need more options," said John A. Hayes, chairman, president and chief executive officer. "This product launch is aligned with our Drive for 10 strategy and is another step in innovating to serve unmet needs. Using our years of experience and specialised expertise, we are proud to provide both our customers and consumers with another environmentally friendly and fun option in our industry-leading portfolio of aluminium packages."

In addition to its sustainability and recycling strengths, the aluminium cup is sturdy, durable, cool to the touch, and provides an elevated drinking experience. It also can be customised with logos and graphics. The cup is currently available through a limited pilot program with major venues and concessionaires across the U.S. in a 20-ounce size produced in Ball's Westminster, Colorado, innovation facility. When the Rome plant is fully operational, Ball plans to introduce additional sizes to round out its cups portfolio and intends to expand adoption of the cups to drinking establishments, parks and recreation, colleges and universities, hospitality, restaurants, business and industry.

Infinitely recyclable and economically valuable, aluminium is the most sustainable beverage packaging material, and aluminium cans, bottles and cups are easily recycled. In fact, 75 percent of the aluminium ever produced is still in use today. Ball's research shows that 67 percent of U.S. consumers say they will visit a venue more often if they use aluminium cups instead of plastic cups and that 78 percent of consumers expect beverage brands to use environmentally friendly containers in the next five years.

Ball introduces aluminium beer pong cups