Henkel and Ball are entering the race for more sustainable aerosol packaging. Thanks to an innovative metal technology, Ball can use recycled aluminium in the manufacture of extruded aluminium packaging for aerosols. According to the US-based packaging supplier, the resulting new metal alloy exhibits increased strength and allows lightweighting of the container without affecting package integrity. Ball says this technology breakthrough will allow to lightweight the company’s extruded aluminium aerosol packaging by as much as 10 per cent, with further lightweighting expected in the future.

After months of collaboration, Ball’s global metal technology experts and innovation teams developed a method that will allow the company to use either post-consumer recycled aluminium or aluminium recycled from its global beverage can operations to produce its new slugs.

"As global sustainability leaders, Ball and Henkel continually strive to improve our environmental impact while responsibly running our businesses and increasing stakeholder value," said Michael Feldser, Ball’s chief operating officer, global metal food and household products packaging. "We were able to add recycled aluminium from Ball’s beverage can plants into our slug manufacturing processes, reduce the amount of metal used and lightweight the industry’s standard extruded aluminium package. This helps improve the carbon footprint of a popular product and enhances the environmental performance of both companies."

Currently, almost all extruded aluminium aerosol packaging is made from virgin aluminium "slugs." These metal disks are impact extruded to produce packaging for aerosol products ranging from body sprays, sunscreens, air fresheners and numerous other markets. Ball has applied for patents on these new packaging and will begin producing cans made with this new technology initially in Europe.