Aluminum has long been a favorite packaging type when we talk about canned goods and drinks, however, recently it has been confirmed, that aluminum not only is very good as packaging but very environmentally friendly one, too, so let’s look at some of the reasons why aluminum is the greatest food packaging material out there.
A study done for the Aluminum Association confirmed, that when you combine all the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with aluminum and other food packaging materials, which includes transportation, refrigeration of these goods and such, it was relieved that aluminum cans produce the smallest greenhouse gas footprint, beating plastic, glass and other packaging by a margin.
Researchers took into account all the stages of different types of packaging in which the process generates even the littlest amount of greenhouse gasses. Also they checked all the industries that are involved form supermarkets to restaurants and even looked at the GHG emission that a liter aluminum, glass and plastic bottles generate in a home setting. And the study found that the transportation, cooling, storage and such processes of aluminum liter cans made up to 21 percent less greenhouse gas than plastic bottles and up to 49 percent less than glass bottles. And although this percentage varied depending on what size bottle we are talking about and what types o transportation or refrigerators were used, aluminum cans as food packaging still showed considerably lower greenhouse gas emissions, making aluminum the best food packaging out there.
If we compare how much of greenhouse gases are made by supermarkets, compared to smaller stores, restaurants and when the differed packaging is refrigerated at home, it showed that restaurants and home refrigeration won in the competition of which setting made the least amount of GHG. Of coarse there is no surprise that supermarkets had the largest greenhouse gas emission, since they have to transport and refrigerate the largest amount of products, but what surprised me was that the greenhouse gas emission for smaller stores actually was closer to that of a restaurant to home refrigerating that that of a supermarket, which only goes o show why we should support smaller convenience stores rather than big supermarkets.
What we can take away from this study is that there are multiple ways how we could limit the amount of greenhouse gases that reaches the atmosphere. The first way of coarse is to produce more food packaging from aluminum, rather than glass or plastic. But the second way also would be to think of food transportation and refrigeration solutions, that would emit smaller amounts of greenhouse gases, because that in itself would considerably lower the GHG emissions and let us enjoy food in the packaging we want.