In its 2016 life cycle analysis (LCA), the Aluminum Association made the bold claim that aluminum is “the world’s most sustainable beverage container.”
The study pointed out the following “green” improvements of the aluminum industry:
Reduction in overall carbon footprint of the aluminum can by 44 percent
30 percent less energy usage
Reduction in package weight of 15%
68 percent total recycled content, the highest of any beverage package material
The study made no comparisons to other packaging materials. But as I noted in my previous post on weight, the reduction in greenhouse gases due to the lighter weight of aluminum and consequent reduction in transport costs is by itself a very significant comparative advantage vs. most other materials.
I suspect that the combination of environmental-friendly demands made by major corporate buyers like Wal-mart and the superior decorating possibilities of aluminum (read my post on glow in the dark Heineken bottles) will make the aluminum bottle the first choice for packaging.