Rexam Beverage Can Europe has confirmed to BeverageDaily.com that it has introduced a new CDL beverage can end that uses 10% less metal, with production starting in the first quarter of 2012.
Thus, the firm’s plant in Waterford, Ireland, is already producing the new ends, with a significant machinery investment enabling the plant to produce 2.5bn new ends per year.
Rexam said it planned to adapt its European end plants to offer the CDL end to customers in coming years, although a company spokeswoman told this publication that no more countries (beyond the site in Ireland and another in France) were earmarked for an imminent roll-out.
The firm contemplates a phased roll-out of the new end, with its plant in Mont, Southern France, due to adopt the technology near the end of 2012, with a capacity to make 3.5bn lightweight ends.
A Rexam spokeswoman told this publication: “Lightweight ends have been tested and developed for several years now. There are several different versions of this lightweight end, so the development and testing of these has been ongoing.”
She added: “Rexam has been working with our customers over the last year to ensure these lightweight ends deliver the high quality packaging they expect from us.”
Significant ecological advantages for the new ends includes considerable raw material savings, Rexam said, with the initial investment at Waterford expected to save over 1,800 tonnes of metal per year and reduce CO2 emissions by 14,000 tonnes.
Asked whether Rexam believed further weight savings might be possible in the future, the spokeswoman said: “This new lightweight end that we are adopting is the best available with current technology.
“The industry has an excellent track record in light weighting and we will continue to work together with our customers to deliver the most efficient use of resources in the beverage can production process,” she added.
Rexam rival Ball Packaging launched its own CDL can ends onto the European market in November 2008, with the launch of a new UK manufacturing line; this end was launched in the US in 2005.