Ball

Metal Packaging

Ball is a global leader in metal packaging for beverage, food and aerosol products. We look at metal packaging with passion and purpose. The unique sustainability profile of metal packaging is one of its many advantages when compared with other packaging materials.
  • Cans are 100 percent recyclable and can be recycled infinitely with no loss of quality
  • Cans are the most recycled food and beverage containers in the world
  • Cans have the highest scrap value, subsidizing the collection and recycling of other materials
  • Cans are recycled through a well-established and efficient infrastructure
  • Cans can be recycled and returned to a store shelf as a new can in just 60 days
  • Cans are stackable and have a high cubic efficiency, making them cost-effective to transport
  • Cans are lightweight, unbreakable and provide superior product protection
  • Cans chill faster
Beverage Cans

Beverage Cans

Learn why the aluminum beverage can is today's package of choice.

Read more

Aerosol Cans

Aerosol Cans

Ball aerosol cans are efficient, easy-to-use, versatile and sustainable.

Read more

Responsible Sourcing

Responsible Sourcing

Building a sustainable supply chain through collaborative relationships with our suppliers.

Read more

METAL PACKAGING IN A CIRCULAR ECONOMY

Metal cans are produced using abundant and recycled materials. The earth’s crust consists of approximately eight percent aluminum. With that, it is the third most common element. Steel is made from iron-ore, limestone and coking coal, three very common natural resources. Iron is the fourth most plentiful element.

Both, steel packaging via magnets and aluminum cans via eddy current technology, can be separated easily from other substrates in the waste stream. Approximately 70 percent of all aluminum cans and 68 percent of all steel packaging are recycled globally, making the can the world’s most recycled packaging product.

Because metals are 100 percent and infinitely recyclable, they can be reused in various applications to become new products again and again. Metal recycling has been around as long as metals have existed. In fact, nearly 75 percent of all aluminum and 80 to 90 percent of all steel ever produced is still in use today. Thanks to the well-established recycling infrastructure, a recycled aluminum package can be back on the store shelf in as little as 60 days.

To understand metal packaging’s environmental performance and its role in a circular economy, the entire life cycle of the product must be considered. That is why Ball has been involved in life cycle assessments since the mid-1980s.

Life Cycle

Understanding the life cycle of our products.

Recycling

Metals are completely and infinitely recyclable.

Dedicated to Innovation

In every step—from concept, design, manufacturing and filling to delivery of the final product to the consumer—innovation helps us identify and drive profitable growth. We work closely with our customers to understand their businesses and consumer demand, as well as the challenges and trends they encounter so we can develop industry-leading packaging solutions and graphics to help them grow their businesses.

Often invisible to the outside world, many of Ball’s successful product and process innovations—such as weight optimization of our cans or increasing manufacturing speeds—provide significant environmental and economic benefits to the company, our customers and consumers. We evaluate innovations through a variety of lenses, including consumer benefits, carbon footprints, costs and the impact of new products on the recycling process.

Our intent is to make the lightest metal containers possible while meeting the performance requirements of our customers. Even small weight optimizations save significant amounts of metal, costs, energy and emissions when multiplied by the billions of containers that Ball produces each year (click here for an example). That is why weight optimization represents a major contribution to our 2020 beverage can carbon footprint reduction target.

Net Positive

Packaging is only a small fraction of the overall waste generated in the household, commercial and industrial sectors. However, it is very visible and, in a world of scarce resources, attracts attention from consumers, the media and nongovernmental organizations.

Packaging is a part of a multifaceted solution to the issues of food loss and waste in the supply chain. Packaging plays a critical role in delivering products to consumers safely, conveniently and in perfect condition. Packaging protects and preserves food, beverages and other products as they move through supply chains. Well-designed packaging meets the product’s requirements while minimizing the economic and environmental impacts of the product and its package.

Metal packaging, in particular, prevents physical damage, protects the contents from the effects of oxygen and contaminants and maintains the nutritional value while providing convenience, portion control, space for consumer messaging and more efficient logistics.

Overall, packaging protects far more resources than it uses. The Industry Council for Packaging and the Environment (INCPEN) estimates that of all the energy used for one person’s weekly food consumption, only 6.5 percent can be attributed to primary packaging and 51 percent to food supply. The holistic debate about packaging and the products it protects presents considerable opportunities for packaging and can help focus the debate about a product’s environmental impacts on what matters most.
Customer Perspective
 
"At Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), responsibility for our products goes beyond the last sip of beer. As a global brewer, we are committed to a healthy natural environment and thriving communities so we can brew beers that bring people together for the next 100+ years. Sustainability is not just related to our business, it is our business. 

Building on the accomplishments of our past sustainability goals, this year we announced our most ambitious goals yet. Our 2025 Sustainability Goals are designed to positively impact communities around the World and deliver measurable results in four key areas: climate action (carbon and renewable electricity), circular packaging, water stewardship, and smart agriculture.
 
For example, we have committed that 100% of our products will be in packaging that is returnable or made from majority recycled content, supporting the shift to closed loop economies and the increase of recycling rates around the World. We have also committed to reduce carbon emission across our entire value chain by 25% and that 100% of our purchased electricity will come from renewable sources.

We recognize that we cannot accomplish our comprehensive sustainability goals alone. As a global brewer operating in more than 50 countries, we are excited to launch a global Sustainability Accelerator – drawing on our entrepreneurial spirit and increasing our collaboration with governments, NGO partners, universities and innovators to tackle some of the World’s most important challenges. We are inspired by our suppliers, our customers, and the municipalities in which we operate. 

Beverage cans are infinitely recyclable and the most recycled containers in the World. Together with Ball, the World’s leading beverage can manufacturer and strategic global supplier to AB InBev, we will work closely to further increase recycling rates for aluminum and used beverage cans (UBC) collection around the World, pursue accelerated can light-weighting, and seek efficiencies in logistics and production throughout our joint value chains. 

We look forward to continuing our work together towards a brighter future. Because the next 100+ years are best enjoyed together."

 
-        Tony Milikin, Chief Procurement and Sustainability Officer, Anheuser-Busch InBev
 

FOOD CONTACT MATERIALS

Nearly all aluminum and steel beverage and food cans made today use epoxy-based resin coatings as a barrier between the metal and the products in the can, extending the shelf life of the canned product.

The epoxy resin that gives these coatings their durability may include trace amounts of bisphenol A (BPA). Regulatory agencies from around the world have conducted extensive research on epoxy-based can coatings containing BPA and have consistently found them to be safe. Nevertheless, Ball recognizes the interest in non-epoxy-based coatings and is committed to responding to customer needs. We will continue to work proactively with our suppliers and customers to evaluate next-generation coatings.

Collaboration is Key

Ball’s technology team is working with suppliers and research organizations to identify innovative new technologies, equipment, materials and processes that will simplify manufacturing, eliminate barriers when broadening our geographic reach, and contribute to our sustainability goals and those of our customers.

To further enhance and promote metal packaging’s sustainability credentials, Ball collaborates with many industry partners in various ways. In addition to our memberships in various organizations that advance the sustainability credentials of packaging, we participated – for example – in the development of the "Global Protocol on Packaging Sustainability 2.0" (GPPS), published by the Consumer Goods Forum. The GPPS ensures a common language and metrics that enable informed discussions about packaging and sustainability.



 

Contact Ball

For more information

T: +1 303 460 4429
E: sustainability@ball.com