Drinks and Aluminium Closures
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, suchas milk, juices, soups and cream, that require long term unrefrigeratedprotection are packed in laminates containing a layer of alufoil. A 6 micronaluminium 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 areevolving all the time with easy-to-open and re-sealable closures as well aseasy to hold formats with eye-catching designs.
A very important advantage is environmental performance. The ability to preserveproducts for long periods without refrigeration provides great energy savings.Their shape makes them very ‘space efficient’ in storage and display, producingbig 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 providereliable, long life protection. The use of alufoil enables enormous savings interms of weight and resources compared with alternatives offering the samelevel of protection.
Pouches are an increasingly popular option for drinks packaging; usuallymade from a multi-layer composite, of which alufoil is the essential barrierlayer. These packs, some of which are ‘stand-up’, have enormous visual impactand have been adopted for a wide range of sports and health drinks. Many ofthem incorporate tamper evidence features and closure systems that makeconsumption ‘on the move’ possible. Their very low weight-to-contents ratiosaves resources.
Even though an empty 200ml pouch weighs less than a sheet of copier paperthe pack is strong enough to meet tough drop and burst resistance tests, aswell as providing the essential barrier properties . The remarkably lightweightof the pack enables considerable transport cost savings to be made.Additionally the packaging laminate is delivered in space saving reel form, sosaving both storage and transport costs for the producer.
Alufoil capsules or bottleneck labels add visual prestige to any type ofbottle. They are a valuable part of the product’s personality and a guaranteeof authenticity. Champagne and traditional bottled beers use them as a hallmarkof product quality.
But the foil is not just there for decoration. It ensures security, providingtamper evidence in the case of ‘over the crown’ foil. Alufoil’s physicalproperties of ‘deadfold’ and malleability enable it to mould with the contoursof bottles and closures in an easy-to-apply and brand building way. Opening atwist-off cap or crown closure is easily done without disturbing the appearanceof the neck foil thanks to tear off perforation. The art and technology ofbottle neck foils is moving ahead continually, resulting in material savingswhilst retaining elegant appearance and high product security. Champagnecapsules are generally made from thicker gauge alufoil which is sometimescoated or laminated with a plastic layer. Alufoil has been adopted as thenatural successor to lead as the material for spin-on capsules for winebottles. Neck foils are frequently embossed which, apart from giving adistinctive appearance, also makes the labels easy to handle. Otherdevelopments have also enabled smooth labels to be used. Labels with partialembossing adding an element of design appeal and individuality are a furtheroption.
The practical and economic reasons for the popularity of aluminium closures or 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.
More information about aluminium closures can be found on the dedicated website www.aluminium-closures.org.
When it comes to creating a pack that reflects the luxury and quality ofits contents alufoil labels can produce effects that enable brands to create adistinctive identity with maximum shelf impact. Alufoil’s naturally decorativesurface can often be enhanced by high quality printing, embossing or even usingthe ‘matte’ side of the foil to achieve an antique metal effect. As alufoil iscompatible with a wide choice of printing and finishing processes – offsetlitho, gravure and flexo printing, punching, die cut shapes, laminating,lacquering, hot, cold and water-based adhesives and embossing – an alufoillaminated label offers an enormous range of options to designers.
Lid labels add an extra functional dimension to abeverage can such as informative display space, hygienic shield and a partly resealable closure.The lid label is aneye-catching tool for promotions, special events and relaunches and rounds offthe impact made by the beverage can without changing the design of the can body. Thanks to aluminium foil's materialproperties the label adapts easily to theshape of the can.