Estimates suggest it’s around a staggering 50 billion steel and aluminum cans in Europe alone, which would appear to place a huge demand on the metal used to make them.
But most beverage cans are 100 percent recyclable and can be used again and again. In fact, recycled can metal can be converted into new cans, refilled and be back on supermarket shelves within 60 days.
As if this wasn’t enough to reduce the industry’s environmental footprint, the cans are also becoming thinner and are using less metal (known as light-weighting).
This poses a challenge, however, because it puts new demands on the coatings used inside the cans. These coatings perform a dual role. They protect the beverage from the metal and the metal from the beverage.
Which is why AkzoNobel Packaging Coatings recently launched AqualureTM 915, an ultra-flexible lacquer which flexes with the new lightweight steel cans, yet still retains a perfect barrier to protect the drinks.
This high level of protection is becoming increasingly important, especially as more aggressive and flavour sensitive products – such as iced teas and isotonic drinks – are being introduced to the market.
Headquartered in Germany, AkzoNobel Packaging Coatings is the market leader in waterborne coatings used on the inside of steel beverage cans and currently supplies more than 200 main products for the inside and outside of cans.