Traditional metal packaging has been around for decades. Their durable design that forms a tough barrier between a product and the outside environment along with an affordable price tag makes metal packaging one of the most popular packing options available still today.
Metal packaging is popular, especially in the food industry. Here, it is mainly used for canning purposes as durable metal tins are perfect for preserving foods. Naturally, metal jars and bottles can be found in a vast variety of other industries as well. Thanks to their durable and multi-purpose design, metal packaging can be used to store any type of products including foods, cosmetics, paints, and even chemicals.
Nowadays, however, the popularity of traditional metal packaging, also known as tin or tin-plated packaging, is slowing down. As of late, packaging experts are discussing whether the traditional metal packaging may, in fact, not be the best choice for certain industries including the one for foods and cosmetics. The reason behind this lies in the fact that traditional metal tins and bottles are very sensitive to corrosion. As such, a coating is needed to prevent the packaging from rusting. And although the metal itself is a clean and safe material, this coating contains numerous dangerous chemicals including BPA. Because of this, it is believed that traditional metal packaging may affect the quality of products stored inside. This may cause potential health-related risks, especially when it comes to edibles and cosmetics. As such, more and more companies tend to favor BPA-free packaging options.
When it comes to metal packaging, this may cause some issues. Luckily, however, there is a suitable solution: aluminum. Aluminum packaging has not been around as long as traditional metal packaging, yet it does bring along all the same benefits and even more! Thanks to this, the popularity of both aluminum tins and aluminum bottles is increasingly rising.
The first and by far the most important benefit of aluminum packaging over metal packaging is that it does not rust. Thanks to this, aluminum jars and bottles do not need a protective coating as traditional metal packaging does. Most aluminum packaging still containers an oil-based coating that protects the jars and bottles against oxidation, however, this coating does not contain any chemicals. As such, aluminum packaging is much safer to use and it won’t expose your products to any possible chemicals such as BPA. Aluminum is considered to be a food-safe packaging material and according to the FDA (2018), it ranks first together with glass packaging in terms of safety and sustainability.
Talking about sustainability, this directly brings us to the second main benefit of aluminum packaging. Aluminum is a natural metal that is extremely light in weight. Thanks to its light-weight design, aluminum jars and bottles are easier, cheaper, and more sustainable to transport compared to traditional heavy metal tins. Besides, aluminum furthermore features a much higher recycling rate compared to tin-plated iron tins as aluminum is fully (100%) recyclable. Aluminum is one of the only materials that can be recycled unlimited times without losing any of its original quality. As such, it’s no surprise that more than half of the aluminum tins and bottles in circulation contain recycled materials. Recycling packaging materials offers a great way to save costs while, at the same time, it significantly reduces packaging waste. As such, when it comes to sustainability, it’s no surprise that aluminum packaging tops the list. This makes aluminum packaging a perfect choice for both small and large companies that wish to work in an environmentally-friendly way.
Compared to iron and tin, aluminum is furthermore much more flexible. This flexibility brings along both cons and benefits. The benefit of this lies mainly in the fact that its flexibility makes aluminum extremely easy to shape. This brings along an abundance of customization possibilities. Besides, because aluminum is so stretchable, it is furthermore possible to produce seamless tins and bottles of a much larger size. The downside of its lightweight and flexible design, however, is that aluminum is not as durable as iron or tin. Sure, just like any metal packaging, aluminum provides a great barrier between the product and external factors such as sunlight, air, and moisture. However, aluminum is much easier to dent. Due to this reason, aluminum packaging is mostly used in industries in which the packaging does not need to be very durable. Think for instance about cosmetics and food. When it comes to more industrial purposes, however, such as paint and chemical storage, the soft and less durable design of aluminum jars and bottles makes them less suitable compared to their iron or tin counterparts.
In terms of design, however, aluminum is preferred over traditional metal packaging. Sure, it may not be as durable, however, its seamless design gives it a more appealing and premium look. Besides, aluminum tins can be produced in any shape and color of your liking. And although aluminum may not be as durable as tin or iron, it still creates a full barrier against external smells, moisture, and sunlight. As such, it offers complete protection to the products stored inside. This makes them immensely popular in high-end industries such as the one for cosmetics and makeup.
Because of its benefits in terms of design, safety, and sustainability; aluminum packaging is nowadays often preferred over traditional metal tins by green companies in many industries. That being said, the durability of traditional metal packaging still makes iron and tin containers more appealing to those active in heavy industries and who do not deal with edible or consumable goods.