Aluminum packaging is an integral part of our daily lives . Its “barrier” qualities to preserve foodstuffs , its lightness and its ease of recycling confirm it as a packaging material of the future .

A distinction is made between flexible packaging and rigid packaging:

  • flexible packaging relies heavily on aluminum: 2/3 of the material intended for it is combined with other materials - plastic or paper - for packaging such as food cartons; the remaining third is used in packaging mainly made of aluminum, such as corking and overcapping capsules (wines and spirits), yoghurt lids, packaging for cookies, chocolate, medicines, etc.
  • aluminum is experiencing steady development in rigid packaging in beverage cans, certain cans, aerosol cans, animal food trays and portions, capsules and lids for all kinds of packaging, etc. Among these applications , the beverage can, which has become a real fact of society in the United States, is also the major application in Europe with 41 billion aluminum cans in 2010 (out of 55 in total).

On the packaging aluminum market, it is estimated that half of the tonnages supply rigid applications , in particular cans, and that the other finds outlets in semi-rigid applications (trays for ready meals, capsules, …) And flexible.

A response to consumer needs and an improvement in the conditions of conservation and distribution of products

Aluminum has a number of qualities that give packaging, particularly food and pharmaceutical products, a high level of protection and safety:

  • corrosion resistance ;
  • barrier impermeable to light, ultraviolet rays, water vapor, oils and greases, oxygen and micro-organisms.

Its lightness and strength make it possible to reduce the weight of the packaging and therefore save both the material and the energy required to produce it.

The high recyclability of aluminum allows its recovery in the economic circuit.

Packaging is a growing market for aluminum

In Europe, where the market is experiencing continuous growth, packaging, with more than 1,500,000 tonnes, represents around 16% of the total aluminum market, compared to 21% in the USA.

To learn more about aluminum in packaging, visit the dedicated IAI website.