Beverage Can: Popular But Misunderstood

The latest figures from the Beverage Can Forum show that Germans are increasingly turning to cans again. Meanwhile, a survey by Civey shows that there are still prejudices among consumers regarding the recyclability of cans. These also affect packaging in general.

Cans are more popular with Germans again: in 2019, sales rose by 10 percent to around four billion units – the highest level in 17 years, according to the Forum Getränkedose. After the beverage can had largely disappeared from the market in 2005 with only 100 million units sold, it is now returning to the shelves to an increasing extent. However, there are still a lot of prejudices among consumers when it comes to recycling cans. At least, this is the result of a recent Civey opinion poll of 5,000 respondents commissioned by the Gesamtverband der Aluminiumindustrie e. V. (GDA.).

Misjudgement of recyclability

As a result, only 42.4 percent of consumers think that beverage cans are completely recyclable. 7.3 percent of those surveyed were even convinced that beverage cans made from aluminium or tinplate cannot be recycled at all. At the same time, cans are completely recyclable and can be reused without any loss of quality, as GDA emphasizes. In Germany, 99 per cent of all beverage cans are now recycled. The return rate is said to be higher than in any other country in the world due to the deposit. According to the figures, recycled aluminium consumes 95 per cent less energy than primary production.

Ecological footprint of packaging

The Civey study also shows that 51.4 percent of those surveyed believe that packaging plays the most important role when it comes to assessing the environmental friendliness of a beverage. Transportation and content were significantly less important for the respondents in terms of evaluation. According to data from the German Packaging Institute, the ecological footprint of packaging is on average ten times smaller than that of the packaged product. Moreover: according to the Beverage Can Forum, only three percent of the total weight of cans is accounted for by the packaging and 97 percent by the product.

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