"The ban of single-use plastics is a big move," Catsaros said. "Can makers are building out in Europe; I know of at least eight new can production lines which supply equivalent of 100,000 tonnes [of aluminium cans per year]."

This May, the European parliament voted to ban single-use plastic cutlery among other unrecyclable materials. Meanwhile the European Aluminium Association has a voluntary target for continental can production to have 80% of its raw material coming from recycled aluminium.

"Cans have a big future, at least in Europe," Catsaros said.

The new avenue for aluminium demand in Europe comes at a time when primary production in western Europe dropped by 36,000 tonnes or 3.9% in the first quarter of 2019, according to the International Aluminium Association.

The London Metal Exchange three-month aluminium price has dropped by 3.7% year to date, closing at $1,786 per tonne on September 23.