Aluminum is the third most widespread element on the earth’s crust (8%), it is a silver-colored metal that is extracted mainly from bauxite minerals, which contains about 45-60% of aluminum.
However, its use in the industrial field is relatively recent, in fact it dates back to the end of the 19th century. And today it is reconfirmed as a fundamental material in view of sustainable solutions such as circular packaging.
What are the advantages of aluminum?
In addition to the abundance of this material, aluminum is favorable for a wide range of qualities. First of all due to its lightness, in fact it weighs about a third of steel and copper.
Long life, softness, corrosion resistance, malleability and ductility also make it suitable for a variety of applications.
Finally, we must not ignore the high thermal and electrical conductivity and the potential to form a large number of alloys using this element.
A virtuous material…
But what matters most, especially in the field of packaging, is its characteristics as a permanent material. Aluminum can be infinitely recycled without losing its original properties. This is why some have called it a “Golden Trash”, a waste of inestimable value.
Furthermore, its recycling allows to save about 95% of the energy that would be consumed to extract new aluminum from bauxite.
Aluminum can therefore be used indefinitely to produce new packaging and new products.
Responding to the needs of packaging
And sustainability is the challenge that most involves the players in the packaging sector. Consumers are increasingly attentive to how what they consume is packaged. Therefore, durable, safe and easily recyclable packaging at home is required.
And aluminum supports the packaging supply chain thanks to its unlimited recyclability. This material guarantees hygiene, acting as an insuperable barrier against external contamination.
Sustainable packaging for different sectors
For this reason, aluminum is a key element for the food sector, where trays, bottles and containers of this metal go crazy, for the pharmaceutical one, for centuries it has in fact been used to contain ointments and creams, and more recently for the cosmetics sector.
The possibility of customizing the aluminum product favors its use in the latter area. The material can in fact be easily customized with effects and decorations to make each product unique and responsive to the customer’s singularity.
Aluminum not only guarantees product safety, as previously mentioned, and customization, but also the absence of secondary packaging, which would lead to greater waste and waste.
More aluminum for less plastic
In light of similar reflections, the packaging multinationals are moving towards aluminum products with refill systems. This solution, applied to shampoo bottles, will save 18 million bottles a year, equivalent to 569 tons of virgin plastic, in Italy alone. The aluminum bottle is in fact 100% reusable, while the recyclable refill bottle uses 60% less plastic.
The sustainable packaging revolution has therefore already begun with courage and awareness thanks to the immortality and versatility of aluminum.
Sources: Wikipedia, favia.it, cosmopolo.it