Could ubiquitous Red Solo cup soon be extinct? Ball launches test of recyclable, aluminum cups

Published 5:24 pm Thursday, October 3, 2019

Ball Corporation (NYSE: BLL) today announced the launch of a pilot of infinitely recyclable aluminum cups in the U.S. Ball developed the aluminum cup over the past several years as an alternative to plastic cups for use at home and in other areas where plastic cups are common, including indoor and outdoor venues across the country.

The pilot will produce a limited supply of aluminum cups through 2020 for use in such locations, which include entertainment venues and major concessionaires.

“As our customers and consumers increasingly seek sustainable beverage packaging options, the launch of the aluminum cup is a significant moment for our company,” said John A. Hayes, chairman, president and chief executive officer. “It is our responsibility as the leader in aluminum beverage packaging to continuously innovate and provide solutions for our customers. We’re excited to bring the aluminum cup to market and expand the product line next year and beyond.”

Beginning last month, Ball rolled out a number of pilots with major venues and concessionaires across the U.S. to replace their plastic cups with aluminum cups, including the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Ball’s research shows that 67 percent of U.S. consumers say they will visit a venue more often if they use aluminum cups instead of plastic cups and that 78 percent of consumers expect beverage brands to use environmentally friendly containers in the next five years.

Infinitely recyclable and economically valuable, aluminum is the most sustainable beverage packaging material and, like aluminum cans, aluminum cups can be easily recycled. In fact, 75 percent of the aluminum ever produced is still in use today.

In addition to its sustainability and recycling strengths, the aluminum cup is sturdy, durable and cool to the touch, and it can be customized with logos and graphics.

The cup is currently available in a 20-ounce size and Ball aims to introduce additional sizes in the future based on market demand.

Ball expects to ramp up production in its Westminster, Colorado, innovation facility by the end of 2020, and it looks forward to the opportunity to expand adoption of the cups to restaurants, bars, convenience stores, breweries and retail locations.