INTL AL CONF: Bans on single-use plastics a boon for European aluminium can production – Elval

A continental effort to limit the of single-use plastics is already encouraging an increase in European aluminium can production, Elval executive director Constantin Catsaros said at Fastmarkets’ International Aluminium Conference in Athens on Tuesday September 24.

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.