Westminster, Colorado-based Ball Corp. has announced it plans to build a new aluminum beverage can manufacturing plant in Pittston, Pennsylvania, in the northeast quadrant of the state. The company says a $300 million investment is being made in what it calls a “multi-line plant” that is scheduled to begin production in mid-2021.
Canned beverages have enjoyed brisk sales in the United States in 2020, in part because of more people working from home and dining and drinking from home during the COVID-19 epidemic. Highly recyclable aluminum also is winning favor with beverage brands and companies who have made recycling-related sustainability commitments.
In the aluminum can market in 2020, supply has been a bigger challenge than demand, both of finished cans and of collected used beverage cans (UBCs) melted to make new can sheet.
In addition to its announced new plant in Pennsylvania, Ball Corp. also is in the process of building a new aluminum can plant in Glendale, Arizona. In July, Poland-based Can Pack Industries also announced plans for a new Pennsylvania aluminum can plant, in Lackawanna County, which has Scranton as its largest city.
Says Daniel W. Fisher, chief operating officer of global beverage packaging with Ball Corp., “Our new Pittston plant is Ball's latest investment to serve accelerating demand for our portfolio of infinitely recyclable aluminum containers used in the sparkling water, spiked seltzer, beer and carbonated beverage categories,”
“Pittston will join our industry-leading network of more than 20 North American plants, including [the] new plant currently under construction in Glendale, [which] is scheduled to start up early in the first quarter of 2021. These investments, supported by numerous long-term customer contracts, will enable us to serve customer and consumer needs for more sustainable beverage packaging while furthering our Drive for 10 vision for long-term success.”
Ball says it chose Pittston for its new facility in part because of Pennsylvania’s focus on sustainable growth. States the company, “Infinitely recyclable and economically valuable, Ball’s aluminum cans, bottles and cups enable a truly circular economy in which materials can be and actually are used again and again. In fact, 75 percent of all aluminum ever produced is still in use today.”