Aluminum gaining beverage market share in Japan

The aluminum beverage can could be gaining market share over plastic bottles in Japan, according to a recent media report in that nation.

An online article from Kyodo News Plus lists several plastic-to-aluminum switches in the nation’s beverage sector, including a coffee and tea maker who supplies the Muji retail chain and a sports drink and vending machine firm that is using more aluminum in 2021.

The article also refers to a “rate of horizontal recycling” tied to how recycled can or bottle materials can be used in a comparable function. Citing the Japan Aluminium Association and the Council for PET Bottle Recycling, Kyodo News Plus writes, “The rate of horizontal recycling for aluminum cans stands at 71.0 percent compared to 24.3 percent for plastic bottles.”

Adds the article’s author, “In the case of plastic bottles, as the material weakens over multiple bouts of recycling, they often end up being reshaped into plastic trays for food.” The news item also touches on the ability of aluminum to provide expiration dates for beverages that are further out compared with clear plastic.

“Aluminum is gaining momentum,” Yoshihiko Kimura, vice chair of the Japan Aluminium Association, tells the media outlet.