Crown sees lightweighting as the way to a circular economy

Crown is making its cans increasingly thinner and lighter to meet its sustainability targets and promote the metal packaging industry’s move to a circular economy, the global canmaker has said.

Lightweighting means more aluminium containers can be produced from the same amount of material, requiring fewer resources and energy in their production.

The US-based company has pledged that by 2030 it will have cut the weight of its aluminium cans by 10 per cent below 2019 levels. It plans to lessen the gauge of both can bodies and ends.

Last year Crown’s lightweighting strategy led to a three per cent global average reduction in its standard 330ml can.

The EU wants to be the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050 and it is promoting the move to a circular economy as key to this. This model of production and consumption promotes the reuse, repair and recycling of existing materials and products for as long as possible to extend their life and reduce waste to a minimum.

In addition to Crown, canmakers such as Ardagh, Ball and Trivium have taken steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase their resource efficiency and boost the proportion of renewable energy used at their sites.

Crown said at least 50 per cent of its research and development technology was targeted at minimising the environmental impact of its products and manufacturing processes.

Metal Packaging Europe said that reductions in the amount of material required to make aluminium cans played a large part in cutting carbon dioxide emissions from the production process in Europe. It fell by an average of 31 per cent between 2006 and 2016.