In an exclusive interview with Victoria Marletta, Commercial Vice President at Ball Corporation, we delve into the pivotal role Ball plays in driving sustainability within the aerosol packaging industry.

Marletta outlines Ball’s commitment to circularity, highlighting their innovative approaches and collaborative efforts aimed at reducing waste and promoting recycling.

Marletta underscores Ball’s dedication to environmental stewardship, stating, “At Ball, we are working hard at creating effective circularity in all areas of the manufacturing process.”

She emphasises the transition to 100 percent renewable electricity by 2030 within Ball’s factories, citing its critical role in reducing the carbon footprint of their packaging solutions.

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Innovative materials and design approaches

Ball’s sustainable approach to aerosol packaging involves utilising lightweight aluminium alloy, ReAl, which Marletta describes as a game-changer in revolutionising the market.

She states, “We combine ReAl technology with recycled content and low carbon primary aluminium to maximise the positive impact to the environment.”

By prioritising recycled content and obtaining certification from the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI), Ball ensures their products are not only recyclable but also align with stringent sustainability standards.

Addressing challenges and seizing opportunities

Marletta acknowledges the challenges associated with aerosol packaging, particularly concerning recycling rates and consumer awareness.

She highlights the importance of consumer education and industry collaboration in overcoming these hurdles, stating, “Material innovation, improved design, consumer education, and collaboration between various stakeholders can contribute to a more sustainable approach.”

Ball’s commitment to increasing aerosol recycling rates is evident through initiatives such as the ‘UK Aerosol Recycling Initiative’, which Marletta describes as pivotal in driving improvements in recycling infrastructure and consumer awareness.

She emphasises the importance of creating a closed-loop cycle of waste management to achieve effective circularity.

Innovating for a sustainable future

Marletta also emphasises the role of innovation in shaping the future of aerosol packaging within the circular economy.

She discusses advancements in materials such as the next generation of ReAl alloy, stating, “Since 2014, over 3 billion ReAl cans have been used across the world – that’s the equivalent of 95,000 tonnes of CO2e saved.”

Marletta also highlights the importance of monomaterial packaging for enhanced recyclability, stating, “Across the aerosol packaging industry, making aerosol cans closer to monomaterial, where possible, is important for enhanced recycling.”

She concludes by discussing the potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and specialised sorting equipment in optimising recycling processes, stating, “Developing specialised sorting equipment designed to identify and segregate aerosol cans based on their materials will further improve circularity.”

Marletta’s insights underscore the importance of continuous innovation and collective action in driving towards a more sustainable future.