Protects what we love

For more than 100 years aluminium foil has been one of the most important packaging materials on the planet. For many decades it has helped to protect, preserve and present food, confectionery, dairy products, petfoods, ready meals, beverages and pharmaceuticals; which have all benefited from the multi-talented material.

Just as important, today, in new formats, it is helping to protect, preserve and present a whole range of new products, ensuring it is as relevant to the packaging sector as ever. So pouches, coffee pods, meal kits and lined cartons all benefit from the unique qualities that aluminium foil can offer. In the home too household foil is an indispensable kitchen tool.

Of course modern lifestyles have changed the face of packaging, on-the-go and convenience food and beverages are now a central element of many consumer choices. Here again foil comes into its own, offering solutions for everything from snacks to aseptic, ambient juice packs.

Let’s not forget that today’s consumers are environmentally savvy and want packaging which does its job, but is also recoverable and recyclable. No other flexible material can match aluminium foil in this respect. Every bit of aluminium ever produced can be recovered and repurposed. So in terms of sustainability foil is top of the class!

While modern consumers want effective and environmentally responsible packaging they also want it to be stylish! Nothing else but aluminium foil can add that shine of quality, whether it’s the natural look of the material, or some beautifully printed or embossed decoration. Additionally, what other material can pick up the shape of a product simply by folding it around it? So whether it’s an Easter Bunny or a Father Christmas they can be dressed up to maximum effect with foil.

So let’s take a look at how alufoil packaging has and continues to protect the things we love. Just click on the image to find out how foil’s unique attributes make it a material to love too!’

Aluminium foil is a perfect fit for packaging

A material for a wide range of uses

Chocolate

The very first foil packaging was used to wrap chocolate bars. Today it is still used for the same purpose by many leading confectioners around the world.

Convenience food

Aluoil containers can withstand cold and heat so are the natural choice of ready meals and other baked goods, offering convenient, easy and safe handling.

Dairy

Yogurts, desserts, soft cheeses, butters, milk and cream benefit from aluminium foil lids which offer unmatched barrier properties and top quality seal and peel features.

Household foil

Household foil is an indispensable kitchen tool today. Whether it’s for wrapping leftovers, packing lunch or preparing food for the oven or BBQ, nothing beats it!

Petfood

Containers for petfood are a major application for aluminium foil trays and lids, sealing in goodness for healthy cats and dogs in a convenient to open pack.

Coffee

Aluminium foil is a natural choice for coffee, locking in that wonderful aroma, as well as being the perfect barrier to light, moisture and other potential contaminants.

Suprising Facts

Aluminium foil provides absolute barrier against moisture, light and oxygen, keeping the aromas inside.

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About 75 per cent of aluminium foil is used for packaging and household foil.

1.5 gram of aluminium foil protects one litre of milk over months without cooling.

14 billion sqm (14.000 km²) is used for flexible packaging. That corresponds to the area of Montenegro or one third of the Netherlands or five times Luxembourg.

Around 60 per cent of aluminium packaging in Europe is recycled.

Approximately 75 per cent of European production is used for packaging and household foil and 25 per cent is used in technical applications.

Aluminium foil guarantees quality by preventing the loss of valuable aromas.

Aluminium foil saves far more resources than are consumed in its production throughout the supply and value chain.

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Around 860,000 t of aluminium foil is produced in Europe annually.

75 per cent of ever produced aluminium is still in use.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

All aluminium products can be recycled. The metal will return to its pure, original state in the recycling process and can be totally repurposed. While making aluminium from bauxite requires a lot of energy once made the aluminium can be recycled over and over and that requires a lot less energy. So the more aluminium we recycle the more positive the environmental impact.

Today most aluminium foil trays and containers can be safely used in the microwave. Check the instructions and if there is no warning on the packaging then you can safely heat your food in the appliance.

Everything not containing acid or salt can be wrapped in foil. Even liquids can be held in a container shaped from household foil. And as foil can handle extremes of temperature it can be used  both to freeze food or to cook in the oven.

Foil can keep out light, moisture, odours and, because of its conductivity, can even keep out some temperature fluctuations, so can keep hot food warm while its being delivered, or cold or frozen foods cooler for longer. It is also good at keeping freshness and aromas of the food or beverage, such as coffee, inside the pack. Foil can also be used in retorts or autoclaves to process foods, like petfood, inside the pack thanks to its ability to withstand high temperatures. This enables products to be kept at ambient (not frozen or chilled) temperatures for long periods.

Perhaps the most important additional property (in addition to its barrier features) is the deadfold ability of foil, which means it can take the shape of almost anything it is used to wrap. This is a very important aspect for the confectionery industry which can use foil to take the shape of figures or spheres, so the Easter Bunny or chocolate bon bons, which greatly enhances the look of the product. Foil is shiny in its natural state so can be decorated by various print methods to increase its quality impact even more. Modern laminating and coating technologies also mean that foil lids can be easy to seal and peel and not tear.

While food is probably the biggest market for foil it is also used in the pharmaceutical sector for things like blister packaging and, for highly sensitive medicines, as a pillow pack (using all round aluminium foil) as a highly effective barrier to moisture and heat. This helps these medicines to be transported to remote or difficult to reach regions. In the beverage sector foil is still used extensively for decoration of bottles (neck foil) or labels to give that sheen of quality to the product.

Two of the latest pack formats using foil are pouches for products like soups, sauces, juices and powders, and coffee pods. Pouches are now one of the biggest growth styles of pack thanks to their convenience, light  weight and easy open/reclose features. Pods are now one of the biggest selling coffee containers globally and can be highly decorated. Indeed many consumers have special racks in their kitchens to show off the colourful or exotic designs now used to identify the different coffee types available.