Ball Corporation has announced plans to build its first dedicated aluminium cups manufacturing facility to serve the growing demand for sustainable beverage packaging.
The facility will be adjacent to the company’s existing aluminium beverage can manufacturing plant in Rome, Georgia, US, and is expected to ramp up production in the fourth quarter of 2020.
Ball will hire approximately 145 new employees for the cups facility to support the multi-year investment of approximately $200 million.
“We’re increasingly hearing from customers and consumers that they want to do the right thing for the environment, and they need more options,” said John Hayes, Ball chief executive officer.
“This product launch is aligned with our ‘Drive for 10’ strategy and is another step in innovating to serve unmet needs. Using our years of experience and specialised expertise, we are proud to provide both our customers and consumers with another environmentally friendly and fun option in our industry-leading portfolio of aluminium packages.”
Ball said in addition to its sustainability and recycling strengths, the aluminium cup is sturdy, durable and cool to touch. It also can be customised with logos and graphics.
The cup is currently available through a limited pilot programme with venues and concessionaires across the US in a 20oz size produced in Ball’s Westminster, Colorado, innovation facility.
When the Rome plant is fully operational, Ball plans to introduce additional sizes to round out its cups portfolio and intends to expand adoption of the cups to drinking establishments, colleges and universities, hospitality, restaurants, business and industry.
Research by Ball suggests that 67% of US consumers say they will visit a venue more often if they use aluminium cups instead of plastic cups and that 78% of consumers expect beverage brands to use environmentally friendly containers in the next five years.
In April, the packaging company secured deals allowing it to move to 100% renewable electricity in its North American operations by 2021.
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