Aerosol Cans

Aerosols offer consumers a superior experience both in our homes and outdoors. From food  products to pest control, home spray to hair spray, aerosol products are integrated into numerous aspects of our everyday lives. Today’s aerosols are efficient, environmentally safe, convenient, and recyclable.


Aerosol can manufacturing technology had not changed for several decades, but this changed in 2010 when Ball started working on ReAl®, a revolutionary new aerosol technology that offers multiple economic and environmental advantages (see case study below).
ReAl Aluminum Aerosol Cans
Case Study: Breathing New Air Into Aluminum Aerosol Technology

In 2010, Ball started working on its revolutionary aluminum aerosol technology, ReAl®. ReAl is composed of a metal alloy that exhibits increased strength and allows weight reduction of the container without affecting package integrity. The original ReAl, which replaced the standard aluminum aerosol can and hit store shelves in 2013, included 25 percent recycled material to yield an 11 percent lighter package.

In 2015, Ball continued its aluminum aerosol lightweighting journey with the introduction of an even lighter iteration of ReAl in collaboration with our customer Henkel. This newest iteration is 15 percent lighter than the standard aluminum aerosol can, and—despite the increased alloy strength—Ball successfully developed a container with a deep shape to produce a can with a distinctive shelf presence. These cans were named World Aluminum Aerosol Can by AEROBAL and won Gold at The Canmaker Magazine Cans of the Year Award 2015.

Ball estimates that the 15 percent lighter can reduces the product carbon footprint by 10 percent. When considering the volumes of ReAl cans supplied in 2015, this reduces greenhouse gas emissions equal to the amount a passenger vehicle would cause when traveling around the Earth more than 8,000 times.

Our engineering and innovation teams continue to work on lightweighting opportunities that are compatible with Ball’s existing aerosol can lines.

Customer Perspective

“Henkel’s ambition is to achieve "more with less" and to triple our efficiency in just 20 years. We understand that to have our products deliver more value with a reduced environmental footprint, our partners are key to driving sustainability along our value chain.

Since 2014, the collaboration between Henkel Beauty Care and Ball Corporation on ReAl fit right into our sustainability strategy. Not only did our internal product sustainability assessment indicate early on that ReAl would be a key contributor to our corporate goals, but it also allowed us to reinforce our leadership position by being the first brand to fully commercialize this new technology. Smart packaging solutions like ReAl are fully recyclable, perform better while using the least possible material, and do not sacrifice design or shelf presence.

With the Fa antiperspirant and deodorant relaunch in 2015, we began using the most recent generation of ReAl aerosol cans, yielding packaging that is up to 15 percent lighter. For 150- and 200-milliliter sized cans, Fa’s aerosols are now the lightest available cans on the market. With ReAl, everyone wins – Henkel, Ball and the environment.

We are excited about what we have achieved so far and wanted to recognize that by awarding Ball the “Sustainability Award Beauty Care 2015.” However, we need Ball to continue on that path. We are seeking strategic partnerships that result in innovative solutions and that allow us to develop additional growth potential.”

- Dr. Thomas Förster Corporate Vice President R&D Beauty Care, Henkel AG & Co. KGaA

Dr. Thomas Förster

Ball’s newest two-piece aerosol can was developed over five years and is a testament to Ball’s commitment to innovation. G3-HD produced at our Chestnut Hill, Tennessee, plant, is the next generation of tinplate aerosol packaging. G3’s integrated dome design, a result of our high-speed, coil-to-can manufacturing process, features high-definition graphics that exceed customers’ growing expectations. Moving beyond traditional three-piece aerosol manufacturing, G3 is designed to control sidewall thickness to accommodate various specifications.

G3 is available in multiple sizes and utilizes Ball’s advanced technology to provide a brighter and whiter canvas for outstanding customer graphics, promoting superior, eight-color, high-definition artwork. The first G3 commercially available cans (650 milliliter) are 11 percent lighter when compared to a traditional three-piece aerosol can. The associated metal savings for 100 million cans equal greenhouse gas emission savings of approximately 1,750 metric tons – equivalent to the emissions caused by the annual energy use of 160 U.S. homes.



Ball's new two-piece, lightweight steel aerosol can


Ball supplies aerosol cans that are roughly half the size of regular deodorant cans and, thanks to a reengineered spray system, give consumers the same performance as regular cans. The compressed can is made of 25 percent less aluminum and contains 50 percent less propellant, while holding the same amount of antiperspirant.


Just like any other metal container, aluminum and steel aerosol cans are recyclable. For the last decade, Ball worked with customers and other partners (such as the Consumer Aerosol Products Council in the U.S. or the British Aerosol Manufacturers' Association in the United Kingdom) to promote the collection of empty aerosol cans. While challenges remain with accurate data on recycling rates and consumer access to recycling, we have made significant progress. For example, the U.K.’s consumer education program MetalMatters, which Ball developed and supports, was instrumental in doubling the number of local authorities that accept aerosols in their recycling schemes from 2011 to 2015 and achieves a 96 percent acceptance rate. Also, a 2016 study on access to recycling in the U.S. showed that recycling availability for aluminum aerosol stands at 72 percent and steel aerosol containers at 69 percent, making aerosol cans a widely recyclable container in the U.S.