Austin, Texas-based startup SNSTech, LLC has developed a 100% aluminum beverage can that’s both reclosable and entirely recyclable. The patented SipNShut container is designed to run on standard canning lines at high speeds, and the company says it pours as smoothly as existing cans.
A metal slide at the top opens and recloses the can opening. Since the entire SipNShut is constructed from industry standard 5182 aluminum alloy rather than a mixture of metal and plastic, the whole container can be recycled. SNSTech says the can only uses slightly more metal than a standard sit-on-top (SOT) end.
An independent firm survey of 339 randomly chosen American adults asked what improvements they wanted made to beverage cans, according to SNSTech’s site. The majority in every age group chose “reclosable” over other options such as insulated and easier to open.
“We did our homework and know without a doubt that consumers want reclosable cans, but the options on the market today are not attractive to fillers, brands or consumers,” SNSTech president Bill Brandell said.
SNSTech executives say they spoke extensively to brands, co-packers, fillers, and consumers in order to come up with their design. “We buy shells from a major can manufacturer and adapt them for SipNShut,” the company’s site reads. Coatings for the cans are also BPA-free.
“Given the growing consumer pushback against plastic, SipNShut also offers beverage brands a more sustainable packaging alternative to plastic bottles,” SipNShut CMO Chris Schorre said.
The startup expects their can to become available to consumers in 2019.
Beverage cans have come under increased environmental scrutiny, prompting companies to think outside the container. Earlier this fall, Copenhagen-based Carlsberg announced they are replacing their plastic six-pack wrapping with a Snap Pack that glues cans together.
Last month Ball Corporation invested in a state-of-the-art Spanish beverage can plant that the company says uses 15% less energy and 22% less water than a typical plant. The new facility produces Ball’s metal-efficient aluminum STARcan.