Interviews

Sustainable packaging is here to stay! An interview with Victoria Marletta of Aerosol Packaging at Ball Corporation

INTERVIEWEE
interview Image
Category
Interview
Date
18-Mar-2024
Source
The Metal Packager
Detail

As we turn the page to a new year, sustainability remains a key trend that will dominate the metal packaging industry. The Metal Packager’s Iris Arsic asked Victoria Marletta, commercial vice president, Aerosol Packaging at Ball Corporation, about key developments in the company’s eco-friendly aerosol packaging solutions.

Sustainable packaging is here to stay

{alcircleadd}

Here, she talks about Eyeris, Ball’s proprietary enhanced printing technology, previously used in its beverage business and now widely available to aerosol customers to provide standout shelf appeal and attract consumers with premium packaging design. Marletta also gives insights into the challenges to making sustainable packaging and shortlists trends that will shape the aluminium aerosol can industry.

The Metal Packager: In January 2023, Ball Aerosol Packaging became the first and only impact extruded aerosol packaging supplier to be certified by the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI). The division, covering all its nine locations globally, received the Performance and Chain of Custody (CoC) Standards certification.

Can you explain what this means in terms of the division’s aluminium aerosol containers?

Victoria Marletta: The certifications cover management activities for centralized operational functions, global support functions, quality assurance and operational risk. The ASI Performance Standard V2 (2017) defines environmental, social and governance principles and criteria, with the aim to address sustainability issues in the aluminium value chain. 

The ASI CoC Standard sets out requirements for the creation of a Chain of Custody for material that is produced and processed through the value chain into diverse downstream sectors. The implementation of ASI’s CoC Standard links verified practices at successive steps of the supply chain. Overall, this means our aerosol division addresses sustainability in the aluminium value chain and that our aluminium sourcing is both verified sustainable and safely resourced.

The Metal Packager: What does it mean for the industry?

Victoria Marletta: ASI guarantees the highest sustainability standards throughout the entire aluminium value chain – from mining through refining, smelting, manufacturing and product use, up to end-of-life management and recycling. It enables the aluminium industry to clearly demonstrate responsibility and provide independent and credible assurance of performance.

The Metal Packager: Lightweighting creates more sustainable packaging. Ball has been producing lightweight aerosol aluminum cans using the company’s proprietary alloy ReAl since 2014. These cans are up to 30 per cent lighter than standard ones, which helps to reduce transportation-related emissions. In July 2022, Ball launched re:generation, its most sustainable can to date, with only half the carbon footprint of a standard can.

How popular is re:generation among your customers?

Victoria Marletta: The re:generation aerosol can is a key milestone towards meeting Ball Corporation’s sustainability objectives. We embarked on a mission to make a tangible difference, laying out rigorous green targets for 2030 and striving for carbon-neutrality by 2050.  

The re:generation aerosol can was designed following a holistic approach with eco-responsibility at its core. When people talk about sustainability, they often focus on reducing, reusing, and recycling. But to change the game, we knew we needed to look deeper and focus on the entire product lifecycle and material circularity in order to achieve substantial carbon footprint reductions on a global scale.

The demand for the re:generation can is growing, notably in Europe but also in other regions, as people want a more sustainable future for the planet, and they seek out brands that are leading the way.  At Ball, we’re helping brands leverage the sustainability credentials of aluminum packaging to offer solutions that help people live more sustainably.

The Metal Packager: Lightweighting has led to fewer unique shapes in packaging. In response to this constraint, Aerosol Packaging recently released a new report on Ball’s proprietary Eyeris printing technology for shelf differentiation, which it introduced to its customers last year. Can you tell us more about this high-definition printing technology?

Victoria Marletta: Unlike traditional printing methods, Ball’s Eyeris uses advanced printing and imaging processes to deliver high-resolution, photo-realistic images directly onto the aluminium packaging surface. This HD imagery spans 360 degrees around the can or bottle, offering not only unparalleled detail and colour accuracy to visually showcase ingredients and fragrances within the product, but also offers brands a unique platform to tell their story while creating a strong emotional connection with consumers.

By enabling high-resolution imagery on aluminium packaging, Eyeris invites consumers to experience products on a deeper level, engaging their senses with vivid colors and lifelike detail. Eyeris sets a new standard of what can be achieved through aluminium package design and consumers are no longer left relying on the on-pack text to confirm the ingredients and scent.

At Ball, our mission is to co-create packaging solutions with our customers that not only solve their problems but also delight their consumers. We understand that packaging is a key touchpoint for purchase decisions, and we’re committed to providing solutions that make a real impact. Utilising Eyeris apabilities means we’re better able to meet the needs of our customers, their brands and consumers. Eyeris printing technology is currently available at all Ball Aerosol plants.

The Metal Packager: What are some other challenges to making sustainable packaging?

Victoria Marletta:

Collection and Recycling Facilities: Insufficient recycling infrastructure and collection systems can limit the effectiveness of recycling initiatives. Packaging may end up in landfills due to a lack of appropriate facilities. To remedy this, Ball works with governments worldwide to increase aerosol recycling. In the UK we work with the and Aerosol Recycling Initiative (ALUPRO) and in the US Recycle Aerosol (CMI) to increase aerosol recycling rates

The Metal Packager: What steps is the company taking to capture sustainability in packaging?

Victoria Marletta: Ball has further lightweighted its extruded cans and bottles portfolio by commercially introducing NextGen aluminum slugs with 50 per cent recycled content. In 2023, more than 70 per cent of Ball’s global aerosol can production was made with lightweight ReAl, well exceeding our goal of 50 per cent global aerosol can production by 2030. ReAl is a proprietary and patented aluminium alloy composition of recycled content and low-carbon aluminium established in 2014. 

ReAl increases the strength of the aluminium used in manufacturing, allowing for significant lightweighting of aerosol cans without sacrificing package integrity. The cans produced are 30 per cent lighter than standard aluminium cans while retaining their strength and structure. Less weight and less raw material mean significantly less energy used in production and transportation. 

Sustainability is embedded in our manufacturing operations and is a lever of operational excellence. We recognise the impact our operations have on the environment and the local communities where we operate and are committed to continuous efficiency improvements. We introduce innovative processes and technologies that improve our safety track record, reduce energy and water consumption, cut greenhouse gas emissions and divert more waste to beneficial use.

The Metal Packager: What are the top aluminium aerosol cans trends to watch in 2024?

Victoria Marletta:

Sustainability Initiatives: Continued focus on sustainability with the development of lighter cans and the increased use of post-consumer recycled (PCR) and low-carbon aluminium to reduce the environmental impact of raw aluminium production.

Innovative Designs: The exploration of creative and functional designs to enhance user experience and differentiate products in the market. This is why Eyeris is central to developing captivating imagery that will allow brands to stand out on the shelf in an increasingly competitive market.

This interview was originally published in The Metal Packager. For more information about the publication, visit www.metalpackager.com.

Alternate Text
EPIQ Machinery

A world class equipment designer specialized in developing innovative & effective solutions for heavy equipment, vehicles, and material handling systems

Alternate Text
RIA Cast House Engineering

Leading supplier of rail mounted precision Furnace Charging Machines and Furnace Skimming Machines

Alternate Text
Altek

Leading manufacturer of value-added equipment for the aluminum casthouse

Alternate Text
Jagannath Company

Manufacturers & Supplier of Magnesium Metal and Aluminium Foundry Chemicals

Alternate Text
CETAG

A supplier of proven systems and an expert adviser in aluminum casthouse technology, offering its services worldwide to the aluminum industry.

Alternate Text
IBAAS​-IIM 2024

September 25-27, 2024 | BITS Pilani K K Birla Goa Campus, Goa, INDIA