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Beverage Companies Slow to Embrace Novelis Evercan

Aluminum cansMajor beverage companies including Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and AB InBev tout their recycling efforts and commitment to the circular economy, so why aren’t they using Novelis’ evercan, made of 90 percent recycled aluminum, asks a sustainable business column in the Guardian.

AB InBev declined to talk about aluminum recycling for the article, as did Miller Coors. Currently Red Hare Brewing is the only craft beer to commercially use the evercan aluminum sheet.

However, Tim Carey of PepsiCo did speak with the Guardian and said that while he appreciated that Novelis was pushing the envelope, decisions about packaging were ultimately up to procurement executives, who told him Novelis was charging a premium for its aluminum.

According to the Guardian, Novelis said they do not charge a premium for their aluminum.

A Coca-Cola spokesperson told the Guardian the company sources aluminum can sheet from various suppliers, many of whom offer can sheet that includes recycled content, and that use of the Novelis evercan required the company to restrict its supply to only Novelis material.

Coca-Cola has pledged to use more recycled and renewable content in packaging; however, the company and its bottlers focus on polyethylene terephthalate, not aluminum.

Coke has made major investments in bottle-to-bottle recycling technology for PET, as well as introducing “plantbottle,” a PET container made from sugar cane and sugar cane waste. Drinks in PET plastic account for about 60 percent of its global sales.

Scott Vitters, who leads Coke’s sustainable packaging efforts, told the Guardian that PET bottles have an obvious advantage over cans in that they are resealable and therefore more convenient for on-the-go customers.

Although the soft drink giants are not currently embracing evercan, according to John Gardner of Novelis, the company will soon announce a second US craft beer customer and is in advanced talks with a major global brand.

Photo Credit: Aluminum cans via Shutterstock

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