aluminum cup recycling
Ball Corp. says its aluminum beverage cups will soon be available in more than 18,000 retail locations in the U.S.
Photo supplied by Ball Corp.

Investments add to aluminum’s beverage presence

An aluminum can producer is expanding in North Carolina, while Ball Corp. says its aluminum cups are hitting retailers’ shelves.

May 24, 2021

Luxembourg-based Ardagh Group is investing $195 million in North Carolina to increase its ability to make aluminum beverage cans, while Colorado-based Ball Corp. has announced the increased availability of its aluminum beverage cups.

Ardagh Group says it will make building improvements and convert warehousing space into production space while adding two “new, modern high-speed can manufacturing lines” to its existing site in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. A news release from the office of North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper states, “With six production lines, the Winston-Salem site is the company’s largest can manufacturing facility in the United States.”

Ardagh makes aluminum, steel and glass packaging. On its website, the firm says it used nearly 580,000 metric tons of aluminum in 2019. Concerning all three materials, the company says it maximizes its recycling rates and optimizes “the use of secondary packaging materials.”

The company’s announced expansion in North Carolina follows a similar announcement made last year concerning one of Ardagh Group’s plants in Mississippi.

The production of more aluminum cans is likely to lead to a higher supply of and demand for aluminum used beverage containers (UBCs) in North America.

“This very significant project forms a key part of Ardagh Group’s global $2.1 billion 2021-to-2024 business growth investment program and is being undertaken to meet fast-growing demand as consumers increasingly recognize the environmental and quality advantages of beverage cans,” says Claude Marbach, CEO of Ardagh Metal-Beverage North America. “Our products deliver high recycle and content rates, which support customer sustainability targets and contribute to a circular economy.”

Westminster, Colorado-based Ball Corp., meanwhile, says its Ball Aluminum Cup is available at major retail outlets in all 50 states in the United States. By the end of June, the cups will be available in more than 18,000 food, drug and superstore retailers, including Kroger, Target, Albertsons and CVS, according to Ball.

“Ball has a long history of being a brand that people trust, and we are excited to reenter the business-to-consumer market with the retail rollout of the innovative and infinitely recyclable Ball Aluminum Cup,” says Dan Fisher, president of the firm. “As a company, we are relentlessly focused on enabling the circular economy and finding new ways to help solve the packaging waste crisis with aluminum beverage packaging. We look forward to working with our retail partners to continue advancing this mission.”

Sebastian Siethoff, a general manager with the company, says, “The Ball Aluminum Cup is a truly innovative product that has the potential to advance sustainability and reduce plastic waste at gatherings big and small. As we expand the cups’ availability to major retailers nationwide, we are seeing very strong consumer adoption and performance in the marketplace. We are excited to expand the cups’ footprint and continue driving meaningful sustainable solutions for customers and consumers.”