Ball Corporation will begin construction on its first facility dedicated to the manufacturing of aluminum cups, which will be located adjacent to Ball’s existing aluminum beverage can manufacturing plant in Rome, Georgia. The $200 million plant will enable the company to serve the growing demand for innovative, sustainable beverage packaging for U.S. customers and consumers. KBD Group Inc., based in Atlanta, GA, is serving as general contractor on the project.
Ball introduced the aluminum cup as an alternative to plastic cups. The company’s research shows that 67% of U.S. consumers say they will visit a venue more often if they use aluminum cups instead of plastic cups and that 78% of consumers expect beverage brands to use environmentally friendly containers in the next five years. The company states that, in addition to its sustainability and recycling strengths, the aluminum cup is sturdy, durable, cool to the touch, providing an elevated drinking experience.
“We’re increasingly hearing from customers and consumers that they want to do the right thing for the environment, and they need more options,” said John A. Hayes, chairman, president, and chief executive officer of Ball. “This product launch is aligned with our Drive for 10 strategy and is another step in innovating to serve unmet needs. Using our years of experience and specialized expertise, we are proud to provide both our customers and consumers with another environmentally friendly and fun option in our industry-leading portfolio of aluminum packages.”
The aluminum cup is currently available in a 20-ounce size through a limited pilot program with major venues and concessionaires across the U.S. and is produced in Ball’s Westminster, Colorado, innovation facility. When the Rome plant is fully operational, Ball plans to introduce additional sizes to round out its cups portfolio. The company also intends to expand adoption of the cups to drinking establishments, parks and recreation, colleges and universities, hospitality, restaurants, business, and industry.
The Rome facility is expected to be completed by next year and to ramp up production in the fourth quarter of 2020. The site will employ approximately 145 new employees.