Thanks to its combination of properties, aluminium foil is used in a wide variety of beverage and other liquid packing applications:
More detailed information about the LCA of "Wine" can be found here.
It is not widely appreciated that virtually all liquid food products, such as milk, juices, soups and cream, that require long term unrefrigerated protection are packed in laminates containing a layer of alufoil. A 6 micron aluminium foil layer renders the lightweight pack totally impervious to light, taint and gases without compromising carton rigidity.
Such ‘long life’ cartons come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Packs are evolving all the time with easy-to-open and re-sealable closures as well as easy to hold formats with eye-catching designs.
A very important advantage is environmental performance. The ability to preserve products for long periods without refrigeration provides great energy savings. Their shape makes them very ‘space efficient’ in storage and display, producing big energy and cost savings. Added to this, foil lined liquid cartons are light – only 1.5g of aluminium in 28g of laminate for 1,000g of drink – yet provide reliable, long life protection. The use of alufoil enables enormous savings in terms of weight and resources compared with alternatives offering the same level of protection.
Pouches are an increasingly popular option for drinks packaging; usually made from a multi-layer composite, of which alufoil is the essential barrier layer. These packs, some of which are ‘stand-up’, have enormous visual impact and have been adopted for a wide range of sports and health drinks. Many of them incorporate tamper evidence features and closure systems that make consumption ‘on the move’ possible. Their very low weight-to-contents ratio saves resources.
Even though an empty 200ml pouch weighs less than a sheet of copier paper the pack is strong enough to meet tough drop and burst resistance tests, as well as providing the essential barrier properties . The remarkably lightweight of the pack enables considerable transport cost savings to be made. Additionally the packaging laminate is delivered in space saving reel form, so saving both storage and transport costs for the producer.
Alufoil capsules or bottleneck labels add visual prestige to any type of bottle. They are a valuable part of the product’s personality and a guarantee of authenticity. Champagne and traditional bottled beers use them as a hallmark of product quality.
But the foil is not just there for decoration. It ensures security, providing tamper evidence in the case of ‘over the crown’ foil. Alufoil’s physical properties of ‘deadfold’ and malleability enable it to mould with the contours of bottles and closures in an easy-to-apply and brand building way. Opening a twist-off cap or crown closure is easily done without disturbing the appearance of the neck foil thanks to tear off perforation. The art and technology of bottle neck foils is moving ahead continually, resulting in material savings whilst retaining elegant appearance and high product security. Champagne capsules are generally made from thicker gauge alufoil which is sometimes coated or laminated with a plastic layer. Alufoil has been adopted as the natural successor to lead as the material for spin-on capsules for wine bottles. Neck foils are frequently embossed which, apart from giving a distinctive appearance, also makes the labels easy to handle. Other developments have also enabled smooth labels to be used. Labels with partial embossing adding an element of design appeal and individuality are a further option.
When it comes to creating a pack that reflects the luxury and quality of its contents alufoil labels can produce effects that enable brands to create a distinctive identity with maximum shelf impact. Alufoil’s naturally decorative surface can often be enhanced by high quality printing, embossing or even using the ‘matte’ side of the foil to achieve an antique metal effect. As alufoil is compatible with a wide choice of printing and finishing processes – offset litho, gravure and flexo printing, punching, die cut shapes, laminating, lacquering, hot, cold and water-based adhesives and embossing – an alufoil laminated label offers an enormous range of options to designers.
Lid labels add an extra functional dimension to a beverage can such as informative display space, hygienic shield and a partly resealable closure. The lid label is an eye-catching tool for promotions, special events and relaunches and rounds off the impact made by the beverage can without changing the design of the can body. Thanks to aluminium foil's material properties the label adapts easily to the shape of the can.
The practical and economic reasons for the popularity of aluminium screw caps among producers and consumers are well established. They are secure, reliable and good-looking. Fully tamper-evident, an aluminium screw cap guarantees the integrity of the product whether carbonated or still.
It is the traditional closure for spirits, wine, spa water, soft drinks, concentrates and many other liquid products, including medicines. The reliability of screw caps is significant as even a small percentage of returns can mean serious loss of profit.
The acceptance of aluminium screw caps in the hitherto conservative wine closure sector is proof that it is a very efficient way to deliver high and consistent quality to the customer. Studies by wine producers and ‘blind’ tasting tests have shown that the screw cap brings a higher level of product consistency without detrimental effect to wine quality.