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A study undertaken by IFEU (The Institute for Energy and Environmental Research) to measure the relative environmental performance of two different sandwich packs: aluminium household foil and a rigid plastic lunchbox, found that aluminium foil performs very favourably in terms of environmental impact and should be considered a sustainable and convenient alternative product for packed lunches.
The IFEU project manager Frank Wellenreuther wrote in the recommendations section of the LCA: “From an environmental point of view the aluminium foil performs no worse than the plastic box to which it is compared. The environmental impacts due to the aluminium foil are lower than those of the plastic box in most relevant environmental impact categories and equal in the remaining ones ..."
More information at www.sandwich.alufoil.org.
This year's Alufoil Trophy featured many original, yet practical, solutions for products using alufoil packaging and aluminium closures. Some shining examples of the skills and innovation on offer from the sector were among a record number of entries. The panel awarded 12 trophies from the 67 entries, recognising excellence in all five competition categories, plus one discretionary award.
Head of the judging panel this year was Dr Mark Caul, technical manager for packaging at Tesco, who brought a valuable retail perspective to the table. Commenting on the overall competition he said, “We were particularly impressed by the combination of alufoil with other materials to come up with some very well engineered and novel packaging solutions – many of which could lead to new market opportunities for alufoil or closures. In addition some of the finishing and print quality was simply outstanding and took some, often quite established concepts, to a completely different level. I was genuinely excited by the potential of some of the winning entries.”
Full year results for the European aluminium foil sector show a stable, but largely flat market in the past twelve months, while the outlook for 2014 is viewed optimistically, with a general recovery in demand expected to gather pace both in Europe and overseas. Final output figures for the year were 842,700 tonnes, 0.3% ahead of 2012 (840,600t). Q4 results showed production declined by 3.3% to 199,800 tonnes compared with 2012 (206,700t).
Deliveries of thinner gauges, used largely for flexible packaging and household foils, remained positive throughout 2013, although the strong growth figures seen in the first half of the year did not carry on into the second. The decline in demand for thicker gauges, used typically for semi-rigid containers and technical applications, continued into Q4, largely caused by ongoing uncertainty in construction and technical markets and depressed demand from overseas.
An in-depth survey of 6,000 consumers, undertaken by IPSOS*, to discover consumer preferences on wine and spirit closures has confirmed that the majority prefer an aluminium closure over other closure options for its convenience.
The study, which took place in five major European markets (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and UK) and the USA, was commissioned by the European aluminium closure manufacturers and suppliers who are members of the EAFA Closures Group, part of the European Aluminium Foil Association (EAFA).
Aluminium closures also scored top when the consumers were asked about their preferences for re-closing a bottle of unfinished wine for later consumption. Four out of ten surveyed confirmed they had poured away wine from a bottle closed with a cork closure which had been tainted or gone bad.
More information at www.aluminium-closures.org
More than 30 foil rollers from all continents have joined forces in a new Global Aluminium Foil Roller Initiative (GLAFRI) to support foil growth globally and coordinate messages on sustainability and recovery.
With the market for aluminium foil expected to grow by 4-5% CAGR up to 2018 the industry gathered in Dubai for the third Global Aluminium Foil Roller Conference (GLAFCO), organised once again by the European Aluminium Foil Association (EAFA). The main outcome was the establishment of the global initiative, enabling the industry to speak with ‘one voice’ on issues of central importance to the industry’s growth.
See also www.global-alufoil.org
A new fact sheet presents an up-to-date overview concerning the behaviour of aluminium packaging items during and after incineration in Waste-to-Energy (WtE) plants including quantifying the percentages of aluminium metal typically available to be recovered from the incinerator bottom ashes.
Based on five tests performed in different European household waste incinerations and on additional scientific research it can be concluded that the metallic transfer ratios for beverage cans, foil containers and even thin (laminated) foil are relatively high. This means that most aluminium packaging can be found back in the bottom ashes of the incinerators and – depending on the individually arranged combination of Eddy Current separators and / or other advanced sorting technologies - can be extracted for further treatment and recycling into new valuable aluminium products.
Four products, which won the coveted Alufoil Trophy in 2013, have been recognised by the World Packaging Organisation (WPO) with the award of a WorldStar 2014 for packaging excellence. The winning alufoil products were made by Constantia Flexibles and Amcor Flexibles and cover food, beverage and pharmaceutical applications.
The next Alufoil Trophy winners, for 2014, will be a major feature of the EAFA stand at the interpack exhibition in Düsseldorf this May. The winners will be announced in Spring 2014, shortly before the exhibition.
New figures show that the worldwide aluminium foil production currently accounts for 12% of global primary aluminium output, making it a key product for the sector. These figures underline the importance of the up-coming third Global Aluminium Foil Roller Conference (GLAFCO), organised by EAFA, which will take place from 15th – 17th January 2014 in Dubai, where about 90 leaders around and from the alufoil business will meet to discuss future strategies and mutual projects.
See also www.global-alufoil.org
A new report, from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has used a number of Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs) undertaken by the European Aluminium Foil Association (EAFA), in a wide ranging, in depth, report to understand best practice in using LCA as an assessment tool for packaging.
The report, produced under the Life Cycle Initiative - a joint organisation of UNEP and the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) - summarizes the results of a project designed to consolidate outcomes of existing research on the environmental performance of packaging, namely LCA studies, in order to demonstrate the value of applying LCAs to evaluate environmental impacts for food and beverage packaging.
Aluminium foil, with its proven barrier properties against light, gas, moisture and odours has long been at the forefront of food and beverage packaging developments to achieve extended shelf-life and improved ambient shelf performance.
The information campaign to promote awareness of aluminium closures, 'Aluminium Closures - Turn 360°' has been extended from wine to take in new content on the wide range of bottled products using this form of closure, including spirits, water and oils. These new contents, underscore yet again the campaign’s proactive approach in this sector.
- The ‘Aluminium Closures – Turn 360?’ is a dynamic awareness campaign initiated by Europe’s leading manufacturers of aluminium closures. It provides detailed information on the advantages of aluminium closures as a state-of-the-art closure for many bottled products
- The campaign features the most up to date information and data with support given by the suppliers to the alu closures industry
- It demonstrates the high growth rates for the use of aluminium closure in recent years (2012: 16 billion closures for wines, spirits, table waters, and oils)
More information at www.aluminium-closures.org
Overall Year To Date (YTD) deliveries from Europe’s aluminium foil manufacturers stayed ahead of comparative figures for 2012, despite a weakening in demand through the summer. At 639,100 tonnes the totals are 0.8% higher than for the same 9 month period last year.
Demand for thinner foils, used largely for flexible packaging and household foils, has been continuously positive throughout 2013 and once again performed well in a sluggish summer market. Figures were 0.6% ahead in Q3 compared with 2012. But thicker foils, used typically for semi-rigid containers and technical applications, continue to struggle, with deliveries falling by 1.3% against the same three month period a year ago. Total alufoil deliveries in Q3 were 1.6% down at 207,300 tonnes.
In addition the figures were affected by slower demand in overseas markets which have been experiencing strong growth in the previous 6 months. Deliveries for trade outside the European area fell by 5.1%*. Although, taken as a whole, the first nine months of 2013 has seen good performance in exports.
The programme for the 3rd Global Aluminium Foil Roller Conference (GLAFCO) taking place from 15th – 17th January 2014 in Dubai is now available.
The leading foil rolling companies from all continents have already committed to either chair a session or to report on regional market developments. Moreover, the who’s who of the foil supplying industry as well as from the customer side will present on latest market trends and developments. A further focus will be on foil sustainability and recycling.
More info at www.global-alufoil.org
The Belgium BBQ Championships 2013 took place last week in Oostende, Belgium and were supported by the European aluminium industry. The jury was composed of the main Belgium Michelin star chefs and it was, in general, very impressed by the high quality of the dishes served by the teams. The new Belgium BBQ Champion is Team HERTALS.
About 30,000 visitors enjoyed watching the 36 BBQ teams from Belgium and neighbouring countries displaying their skills at the grill across the full range of BBQ disciplines. For all teams aluminium foil was a major component of their creative barbecuing and practical preparation of the five required barbecue dishes (fish, pork, chicken, beef and a dessert dish).
The thick aluminium household foil and the sets of small rectangular and round aluminium foil trays, kindly supplied by the aluminium packaging companies Hydro, ITS Foil and NOVELIS, were an essential tool used by the participants.
Deliveries of aluminium foil products continued to move ahead in the second quarter of 2013, confirming that the recovery in demand seen in 2012 continues. Overall production for the year to date reached 419,800t, a rise of 2.5% compared with the first half of 2012 (409,500). Exports too maintained momentum, increasing by 3.2% in the second quarter of 2013, helping first half sales outside the European market to an impressive 6.6% rise.
Q2 results showed thinner gauges, used largely for flexible packaging and household foils, once again led the way with a rise of 2.3%. Thicker gauges, used typically for semi-rigid containers and technical applications, dropped back by just 1.8%, indicating recovery is more uneven for these products. Total deliveries, at 210,400t achieved a rise of 1.3% compared with Q2 2012.
The Alufoil Trophy 2014 is open for entries. It is anestablished major prize, which recognises innovation and creativity in the useof foil across a number of applications and very well received in the media. In addition, the 2014 winners will befeatured at interpack, the world’s largest packaging exhibition, in Düsseldorfnext May.
Five entry categories place the spotlight on the many different contributions alufoil and aluminium closures makes to the modern world: Marketing + Design, Consumer Convenience, Resource Efficiency, Product Preservation and Technical Innovation.
Thedeadline for entries is 29 Nov 2013. Click here for more information.
The European Aluminium Foil Association (EAFA) announced that the third global aluminium foil roller conference (GLAFCO) will take place from 15th – 17th January 2014 in Dubai. Delegates from the international aluminium foil roller industry are expected to continue the coordinated actions on foil sustainability and promotion to support market growth globally and highlight innovative developments.
More info at www.global-alufoil.org
First quarter 2013 figures for aluminium foil showed growth across all gauges for the first time since mid-2011. Overall Q1 production grew by 3.7% to 209,400t (2012: 201,900). Meanwhile exports* from European manufacturers maintained the momentum seen in the later part of 2012 with a first quarter growth of 10.3%, according to figures released by the European Aluminium Foil Association (EAFA) recently.
Thinner gauges, used largely for flexible packaging and household foils continued their steady recovery during 2012 with a 2.4% increase in the first three months of 2013. Thicker gauges, used typically for semi-rigid containers and technical applications, advanced by 2.5%, showing growth in this sector for the first time in 18 months.
Greatingenuity to create innovative products, some with the potential to takealufoil into new markets, underlined the entries for the Alufoil Trophy 2013.Practicality was combined with style and creativity across all sectors. So goodwas the quality of entries that the judges were challenged to pick ‘the best ofthe best’, but eventually selected 12 winners.
Judgingwas led by Professor Dr. Markus Prem, principal of the Department of FoodPackaging Technology at the University of Applied Sciences Kempten, whocommented on the overall standard of entries saying, “The originality andquality of the entries generated much discussion among the judges. In thesetough economic times we always look to focus on developments which can addvalue or reduce cost, as well as meeting sustainable requirements. But itimpressed us how some very imaginative and stylish ideas were presented whichcould open new doors for alufoil, or create better, eye-catching solutions forexisting products.”
More information can be found here.
The moderate increase in demandand deliveries for aluminium foil products from European manufacturers, seenduring the first three quarters of 2012, was maintained in Q4. The year endedwith total production up 1.5% at 813,800t (2011: 801,600t) according to theEuropean Aluminium Foil Association (EAFA). The deliveries in the fourthquarter 2012 were 5% up compared with Q4 2011.
Thinner gauges used for flexiblepackaging and household foil continued to lead the way with an increase of 3%compared with the previous year. The increase in Q4 compared with same period in2011 was even 8%. Deliveries of thicker gaugeswhich are typically used for semi-rigid containers and technical applicationscontinued to decline, falling in total by 5% in the last twelve months,although the rate of decline is continuing to slow down with only a 1% decreasein the fourth quarter.
Across Europe the average recycling rate for aluminium closures is 40 per cent
- Despite their small size, aluminium closures are collected and recycled – either separately with other packaging or together with used glass bottles
- Recycling of aluminium needs up to 95% less energy than its primary production
More information about aluminium closures on www.aluminium-closures.org.
EAFA announced that the third global aluminium foil roller conference (GLAFCO) will take place from 15th – 17th January 2014 in Dubai.
Delegates from the international aluminium foil roller industry are expected to continue the coordinated actions on foil sustainability and promotion to support market growth globally and highlight innovative developments.
The 3rd GLAFCO is organised by EAFA, the global network leader of foil producers. The conference is open for foil rollers worldwide. Previous conferences were held in Oman and Thailand. Supporters are Achenbach Buschhütten, Kampf, Novelis PAE, Thiel & Hoche and the International Aluminium Institute (IAI). The strategic partner is CRU.
Campaign to promote the quality and advantagesof aluminium closures for wine
- The leading manufacturers of aluminium closures launch the pan-Europeanpromotional campaign ’Aluminium Closures – Turn 360° to enhance publicawareness about the advantages of a sustainable and state-of-the-art closureform
- New internet portal www.aluminium-closures.org goes online to provide comprehensive information on the advantages of aluminium closures
Recyclingrates for alufoil trays and semi-rigid containers across Europe rose above 50per cent in 2010 (2008: 45 per cent) helped by the industry’s commitment topromote the benefits of resource efficient and sustainable packaging options.
Aluminium isendlessly recyclable, which saves up to 95 per cent of energy use compared withits primary production. This message is increasingly recognised by thepackaging supply chain, while consumers are showing greater willingness to playtheir part across Europe.
The first ninemonths of 2012 showed a positive development for the European manufacturers ofaluminium foil. According to European Aluminium Foil Association (EAFA) 618,500tonnes were delivered in the three quarters (2011: 611,400 tonnes),representing an increase of 1.2%.
Thinner gauges mainly for flexible packaging andhousehold foil were up more than one cent while thicker gauges typically usedfor semi-rigid containers and technical applications decreased five per cent. Exportsoutside the EAFA region further improved by twelve per cent, indicating arecovery in demand from emerging markets and others outside Europe.
Alufoil reachesevery part of the world we live in: packaging or helping with the preparationof the food we eat; protecting the medicines which help to fight disease andillness; in transport to make vehicles more efficient and sustainable; and inbuildings to keep us warm, cool or safe. The Alufoil Trophy celebrates allthese activities and recognises the best of the best as well as highlightingnew and exciting applications using aluminium foil and closures.
The Alufoil Trophy is now established as a major prize, whichrecognises innovation and creativity in the use of foil across a number ofapplications.
After a slow start into the year 2012 the Europeanmanufacturers of aluminium foil saw clear signs of recovery in the secondquarter. According to EAFA 411,500 tonneswere delivered in the first six months (2011: 420 100 tonnes), representing adecrease of two per cent.
Thinner gauges mainly for flexible packaging andhousehold foil were down two per cent while thicker gauges typically used forsemi-rigid containers and technical applications dipped almost eight per cent.A major boost came from exports which leapt by almost ten per cent, indicatinga recovery in demand from emerging markets and others outside Europe.
However, these figures mask a better performance inthe second quarter of 2012, where deliveries were above the year before,indicating more steady demand from inside Europe.
The firstblister pack was introduced to the market 50 years ago. Today it is hard toimagine a world where unit doses of solid form pharmaceuticals are notavailable in this user-friendly format. So many advantages for the end-userhave emerged and its most obvious benefit is that it is always clear how manytablets have been used.
Jan Homan, Chairman ConstantiaFlexibles, has been newly elected President of EAFA. The association also welcomed 17 new member companies.
Speaking recentlyat the association’s annual conference Jan Homan said, “Theexcellent work of EAFA is proven by the high number of new companies joining.Common interests like the promotion of the material and challenges in the worldof sustainability as well as food contact issues form an important industryvoice.”
He added: “Especially alufoil and flexible packaging applicationscan contribute to a more sustainable consumption and production as illustratedin our thought leadership papers ‘More is Less’ and ‘The Perfect Fit’. Ourassociation will continue serving its members and their customers and will dealpro-actively with new challenges.”
The start into2012 was calm for the European aluminium foil manufactures in line with the Europeaneconomic markets. The first three months showed an overall shipments decreaseof almost five per cent to 204,000t compared to last year’s first quarter accordingto figures published by the European Aluminium Foil Association (EAFA).
Thinner gaugesmostly used for flexible packaging and household foil declined by almost sixper cent. The shipments of thicker foil segments typically used for semi-rigidcontainer and technical applications fell by almost ten per cent. However,exports* from Europe rose by almost nine per cent underlining the competivenessof the European foil rollers on a global level.
Commenting the start of the year and the outlookEAFA’s Executive Director Stefan Glimm said: “The slow start reflects theoverall European economic situation with quite stable regions and lessperforming areas. The prevention of food waste through its excellent barrierand preservation properties should provide aluminium foil a healthy future.”
Full year figures for European output of alufoil in 2011 showed a modest decline in overall production levels, reflecting the cautious outlook throughout the European economic markets. However exports from Europe remained steady according to figures released by the European Aluminium Foil Association (EAFA).
Total production fell back by 5.2% to 801,900 tonnes (2010: 846,300 tonnes), with thinner gauges declining by 7.9%. Thicker gauges fared much better registering only a 2.4% drop from 2010 levels. Exports* held up better, down by just 0.7%.
Entries for the Alufoil Trophy 2012 showed great originality in developing advanced forms of familiar products as well as some ground breaking new ideas. The competition attracted 52 entries across five categories and ranged from household goods to packaging, on through to automotive applications and a remarkable survival product.
“The great diversity of applications and multiple functionality of alufoil were clearly demonstrated by the entries for this year’s Trophy.” observed Antoinette Devine, global packaging consultant for SABMiller, who headed the judging panel. “But we were particularly impressed by the original thinking which had gone in to some traditional items which took them to a new level of performance and technical innovation.”
More information can be found here.
EAFA has become a full member of the SAVE FOOD initiative which was launched officially in 2011 at the world’s largest packaging fair, interpack, in Dusseldorf.
The SAVE FOOD initiative is a joint campaign instituted by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations and Messe Düsseldorf to provide a platform for activities and the promotion of initiatives to reduce food waste.
A key element in this programme is the development and adoption of appropriate packaging solutions. This aligns completely with the work of EAFA to offer innovative and sustainable packaging formats for the protection, distribution and preservation of all kinds of food products. www.save-food.org
The European Aluminium Foil Association (EAFA) announced the launch ofits newly designed website, dedicated to providing comprehensive information onthe European aluminium foil industry.
Featuring a comprehensive overview of aluminium foil,its history, market information, Alufoil properties and applications, the newwebsite has a completely new look and feel. The design incorporates performanceoptimised navigation to enable access to the right information quickly andeasy. It also offers a search facility to locate EAFA’s member companies andpotential suppliers of alufoil products.
The economic slow down in Europe also affected the deliveries of aluminium foil in the first nine months of 2011. According to data published by the European Aluminium Foil Association (EAFA) the total production declined by almost 4% to 609,000t.
Aluminium foil impacts on every area of our lives from the kitchen to the retail shelf and on to technical industrial applications, which is why excellence in aluminium foil and flexible packaging within Europe will be recognised and rewarded with an Alufoil Trophy 2012. Organised by EAFA, these sought after awards are presented to manufacturers and users of aluminium foil across all market sectors and applications, and celebrate the creativity and flexibility of aluminium foil. The Alufoil Trophy encourages the industry to show off innovative new material structures which offer true consumer convenience, technical development and sustainable solutions across packaging applications and industrial solutions.
Alufoil sector stabilises on high level
After bullish growth rates over the past quarters the aluminium foil deliveries stabilised on a high level according to data published by the European Aluminium Foil Association (EAFA).
The production of the European aluminium foil industry slightly declined by 0.9 % to 419,000 t in the first six months of 2011.
The World Grill and Barbecue Champion 2011 is Christoph Gollenz. Together with his team Goli & Chef Partie from Austria, he convinced the expert judges at the 2011 World BBQ Championship which was sponsored by the European Aluminium Foil Association (EAFA) and held last weekend in Gronau in Germany.
Signs of buoyancy continue for the European aluminium foil sector with a rise in production of 1.3 % to 214,400 t for the first quarter of 2011 compared with the same period in 2010. Thicker alufoil gauges, used mainly for the manufacture of semi-rigid foil trays and technical applications rose by 6 %, while thinner gauges used mainly in flexible packaging and household foil fell slightly by -0.7 %. Exports outside the EAFA region* remained stable.
Variety was the key to a fantastic array of product developments entered for the Alufoil Trophy 2011, organised by the European Aluminium Foil Association. “Covering almost every market, entrants offered something for each category and gave the judges plenty to assess making it very difficult to pick the eventual winners,” said head judge Alan Moffat, Packaging Development Manager, H. J. Heinz R&D.
More information can be found here.
Sustainable Development is a global challenge that transcends geographical boundaries and national borders. The way environmental considerations are addressed and tackled to promote resource efficiency around the globe also have a local impact and will shape the future of the way we all live.
This May is going to be hot, hot, hot, with everything revolving around barbecue and grilling! The European Aluminium Foil Association (EAFA) invites all to celebrate the beginning of summer at two major international BBQ events that will demonstrate just how many different features of aluminium foil can be put to good use for barbecues and grills.
Sustainability was at the top of the Agenda at the 2nd Global Aluminium Foil Roller Conference held in Bangkok, Thailand, 12-14 January 2011, at the initiative of the European Aluminium Foil Association (EAFA). The importance of aluminium foil usage to the global market was underlined by 90 participants from China, Europe, India, Japan, Middle East, North America, Russia, South Korea, Thailand and Turkey representing almost 80% of global aluminium foil production. The conference programme covered the development in global aluminium foil demand (over 4% for the last 10 years, to 3.2 million tons in 2010), the environmental performance of the smelters and its impact on the eco-performance of end-products, technical development in the rolling sector and foundries, the position of aluminium foil in the sustainability debate. The first common project “A Global Moment with Alufoil” as a result of the first conference was launched. It covers a brochure and a website www.global-alufoil.org.
Soaring growth to bring alufoil production within Europe to the record levels experienced in 2006 before the 2008 economic crisis took hold, is shown by the year-end figures for 2010. Published by the European Aluminium Foil Association (EAFA), these show overall shipment growth of 10.6 per cent to 850,300 t (2009: 768,600 t), creating in confidence in the outlook for aluminium foil products. EAFA President François Coëffic said, “The figures represent a return close to the record pre-crisis levels of 2006 and, even though we live in more unpredictable economic times, confidence is returning and we as EAFA arecautiously optimistic for 2011.”]
Policy makers, industry stakeholders, NGOs and media representatives were invited to attend an event jointly organised by the European Aluminium Association (EAA) and the European Aluminium Foil Association (EAFA) to celebrate the 100th anniversary of aluminium foil. The invitees assisted to a live cooking show and could taste quality dishes using aluminium foil.
An upward trend is emerging in European recycling rates for alufoil trays and semi-rigid containers which rose to 45 per cent in 2008 (2007: 40 per cent), thanks to an increasing understanding of its benefits in providing more sustainable packaging options. Aluminium is endlessly recyclable. Recycling of aluminium saves up to 95% of energy use compared with its primary production. This message is being increasingly understood by the packaging supply chain. It is also heartening that consumers are showing an increasing willingness to play their part.
François Coëffic, Novelis, has been re-elected President of the European Aluminium Foil Association (EAFA) and chairman of the Roller Group for a second term. Speaking in at the association’s annual conference François Coëffic, said, “Sustainability is a key challenge and will continue to be at the top of the agenda of our members and their customers, particularly for packaging applications. Our association has a very pro-active stance on raising the debate and implementing actions for sustainable consumption and production. Ongoing globalisation is another challenge we are dealing with and for key issues like sustainability we are managing and addressing questions while also proposing solutions at the global level.”
EAFA announced that the second global foil roller conference will take place from 12th – 14th January 2011 in Bangkok, Thailand. François Coëffic, EAFA President:”The first conference in 2008 represented more than 75 per cent of the global foil industry and far exceeded our expectations identifying a range of challenges and opportunities in terms of growing global markets but also in terms of sustainable development.”
There is no better way to celebrate the future than to draw lessons from history, which is why the European Aluminium Foil Association is celebrating the 100th anniversary of aluminium foil with a look at past, current and some future technical developments.