Novelis will launch what it claims to be ‘the world's first commercial use of evercan’, a recycled content aluminum sheet for beverage cans.
Red Hare Brewing Company will package its Red Hare craft beer exclusively in cans made of Novelis' evercan aluminum sheet next month, which is made of a minimum 90% recycled content.
It is expected to be sold across the US southeast coast.
John Gardner, vice president and chief sustainability officer, Novelis, told FoodProductionDaily it was an exciting announcement and an important step in its long-term sustainability commitment.
“The agreements with Red Hare and Envases Universales, the canmaker, were finalized a few weeks ago. Red Hare ran its first batch of cans made from evercan material through its filling line at its brewery last week,” he said.
“This is the world’s first certified high-recycled content beverage can. Until today, a brand owner could not be sure of a can’s recycled content. With evercan, brand owners have third-party certification to guarantee the content in the aluminium can sheet – that’s an industry first.”
Gardner added Red Hare is the world’s first evercan user and the craft beer sector is very dynamic and the fastest growing beer segment which has a strong interest in sustainability.
He said while the can could technically be applied to food manufacturers its current focus was on the beverage can market.
Future market potential
“We are very excited to take evercan to other craft brewers as well as other beverage brands around the world. We remain very optimistic about the future market potential for this innovation in packaging,” said Gardner.
“We feel strongly that closed-loop recycling is a critical element to balance the demand of a growing economy with the need to preserve the environment.
“No other material offers the versatility and environmental benefits of aluminum. We believe evercan can serve as an important catalyst to educate other brand holders and consumers about the value of the circular economy, closed-loop aluminum recycling and engage them to take action themselves.”
Red Hare Brewing Company is an independent micro-brewer in Marietta, Georgia and one of the fastest-growing micro-breweries in the US.
Roger Davis, founder and CEO of Red Hare Brewing Company said it selected the evercan as part of its commitment to reducing the company's environmental footprint, while preserving the freshness and taste of its crafted beer.
“The independent certification of the closed-loop recycling process behind evercan strengthens our commitment to employing the best in sustainable business practices,” he added.
Red Hare was one of the first craft breweries in Georgia to package its products in aluminum cans, following a trend in the micro-brewery industry to move from bottles to cans as a way to expand distribution and appeal to on-the-go consumers.
Nearly 400 craft brewers in nearly every state in the US are canning more than 1,300 different beers.
Novelis' efforts to increase the recycling of beverage cans is part of its strategy to increase the recycled content of its products across its global operations to 80% by 2020.
It has announced capital investments of approximately $500m over the last two years that will double its global recycling capacity to 2.1m metric tons by 2015.
Recycling aluminum requires 95% less energy, and produces 95% fewer greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), than manufacturing primary aluminum.