European and Global Challenges

Industry Representation before European Aluminium

The Evolution of European Aluminium

Addressing Sustainability

Aluminium in Mobility

Aluminium in Building & Construction

Aluminium in Packaging

The Faces of European Aluminium
Aluminium foil wraps a chocolate triangle
It was to replace tin foil that the industrialist Robert Victor Neher started in 1910 the first aluminium rolling plant in Kreuzlingen, Switzerland. In the years that followed, Toblerone’s famous chocolate bars and then Maggi bouillon cubes adopted aluminium foil.

An aluminium tin can
Pechiney manufactures the first seamless aluminium stapled tin can in France. The bottom and the cover are crimped according to the same principle as the tin can.

Aluminium beverage can
Coors Brewery presents the world's first seamless two-piece beverage can made entirely of aluminium. It uses much less metal than the three-piece steel box. At the same time, Coors initiates recycling, paying 1 cent for each can returned.

© Every Can Counts
Multilayer packaging
Designed in 1951 by the Swedish industrialist Ruben Rausing, the Tetra Pak® was a revolutionary carton packaging for UHT milk. At the start of the 1960s, a new step was taken: thin layers of aluminium foil and plastic formed an aseptic multilayer packaging whose use would extend to many products.

Employees of a French dairy presenting the new Tetra-Pak packaging model (tetrahedron-shaped beverage carton, developed by Erik Wallenberg, Harry Järund and Erik Torudd, produced by the firm "Tetra Pak" in Lund (Sweden) in 1951 by Wallenbuerg and Ruben Rausing) © akg-images
Aluminium blister
In the early 1960s, Dutch company Hassia developed a vacuum forming machine that produced thermoformed packaging for small portions of coffee and similar products. This type of packaging was adopted by the pharmaceutical industry when the use of contraceptives became widespread.

© All rights reserved
‘Easy Open’
The American Ernie Fraze invented the easy opening system in aluminium which consists of tearing a metal tab closing the can. Before this innovation, it was necessary to drill holes using a point.

Aluminium wine closure
In 1959, French company Le Bouchage Mécanique, introduced an aluminium screw cap to the wine market, after successfully using it to close bottles of spirits and liqueurs. Many Swiss wine growers adopted it to protect their white Chasselas wine, which is particularly sensitive to cork taint.

Creation of the European Aluminium
Foil Association (EAFA)
The creation of the European Aluminium Foil Association reflects the strong growth of the packaging industry and products using aluminium foil in the mid-1970s.

The establishment of the first
country-wide deposit return system for cans in Sweden
After some voluntary collection initiatives which were not very successful, the Swedish aluminium can-maker REXAM together with the Swedish Brewers Association and supported by the local aluminium remelting plant of Gränges, established in 1984 a nationwide Deposit Return collection system for aluminium beverage cans with reverse vending machines (RVMs). The Swedish approach was soon to be followed by similar systems in the other Nordic countries for glass, plastic and aluminium beverage containers. More recently Germany and the Baltic countries followed, with several announcements from other European countries.

« the Alu-team strikes back », packaging recycling
campaign in Danemark, 1991 © European Aluminium
Aluminium Can Recycling Europe (‘ACRE’)
The United Kingdom started with the first ‘cash for cans’ collection initiatives promoted in famous TV shows like ‘Blue Peter’. Together with similar industry-driven initiatives like in Italy, this resulted into the first coordinated European aluminium can recycling initiative, ACRE. Those aluminium companies involved, Alcan, VAW, Pechiney and ELVAL, expanded these voluntary can collection initiatives to other countries, and this became the basis for PACKALU, the predecessor of the EAA Packaging Group.

© European Aluminium
EU addresses packaging waste management
EU adopts the famous Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive, in order to harmonize national measures regarding the management of packaging and packaging waste.

© European Aluminium
Start of the European Aluminium Packaging Group
The leading manufacturers and recyclers of aluminium beverage cans decided to formalize the link between PACKALU and the European Aluminium Association via the establishment of the Aluminium Packaging Market Group. The Packaging Group is promoting the recyclability of all aluminium packaging and has established in the meantime a Europe-wide network of national initiatives to stimulate the recycling of aluminium beverage cans, aerosol cans, (pet)food containers, menu trays, closures and a wide range of aluminium (laminated) foil applications. Several of these initiatives are linked to official Packaging Recovery Organizations (‘green dot’ or EPR schemes).
The present member companies of the Packaging Group are Novelis, Constellium, Speira (previously Hydro Aluminium) and ELVAL.

European Aluminium Packaging Seminar, Nice, September 2012 © European Aluminium
Aluminium Closures –Turn 360°
The leading manufacturers of aluminium closures launch the pan-European promotional campaign ’Aluminium Closures –Turn 360 ̊’to enhance public awareness about the advantages of a sustainable and state-of-the-art closure form.

© Aluminium Closures Group
Every Can Counts programme
The launch of the Every Can Counts programme was aiming to foster recycling of aluminium cans, particularly the collection of ‘out-of-home’ consumed cans in places like music festivals, sports events, or in public places. It has become a true ‘Pan-European’ can recycling brand, with 19 participating countries in 2020.

© Every Can Counts
EU Circular Economy Package
The European Commission adopted its first Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP), “Closing the loop”, which includes the objective to progress towards 70% recycling in packaging in 2020, 80% in 2025 and 90% in 2030. A new CEAP 2.0 was approved in 2019 and obliges EU Member States to fulfil separate recycling targets for aluminium packaging by 2025, respectively 2030.

© European Commission
Towards 100% Recycling by 2030
European Aluminium and the can-maker members of Metal Packaging Europe launch a roadmap towards 100% aluminium beverage can recycling by 2030.

© Every Can Counts