Large investments are being made to aluminium manufacturing because the industry for beverage cans is converting from steel to aluminium. Most of the heavyweights in the beverage can industry that include ABinbev, Coca Cola Southern Africa, Nampak Bevcanand Hulamin have invested more than $94 million since 2013 towards the transition to aluminium cans.
The recycling industry is rejoicing because the transition to aluminium cans will increase recycling volumes. According to a report from MetPac-SAthatthat represents the interests of local metal packing industry, the recycling rate for used beverage cans in South Africa increased significantly from 18% in 1993 to the present 72%. Recycling of aluminium beverage cans allow people to earn additional money to supplement their income.
Nampak Bevcan has commissioned the first aluminium beverage can production line in South Africa at its Spring plant. This will complete the transition from steel to aluminium beverage cans in the coming years. Initially, only two production lines were running but to meet demand another operational line was added. The 3 lines allowed the production of eight can sizes at maximum speeds of up 3,000cans/minute. The old tinplate lines used to produce 1,600cans/minute.
Hulaminis considered as the only South African company that has the capability to produce aluminium sheets that can be used by Nampak for the production of beverage cans. Traditionally, 95% of Hulamin’s aluminium came in the form of virgin aluminium ingots but now it has a recycling facility that recycles used aluminium cans. The facility also includes scrap storage, sorting, cleaning and melting.
South Africa hopes to replicate the successes of Brazil when it comes to recycling. Brazil leads global can recycling at the rate of 97.9%. In Brazil, you will not find aluminium cans in landfills because they are recycled. They have streamlined the process of recycling so that most of aluminium’s value will be passed on to the collectors.
The growth of aluminium manufacturing is very apparent in many countries to meet growing demands. Aside from beverage cans, aluminium is used for various consumer products that include windows, doors, curtain walls for buildings and store fronts, heat sinks, automotive parts, cases, frames and pipes.