For years the beloved red-plastic solo cup has been a quintessential symbol of party culture. Historically they’ve been a perfect receptacle for drinking beer out of a keg or an ice-cold lemonade at a family picnic. What could be better than this traditional symbol of good times?
The answer is a recyclable aluminum cup. Ball Corporation introduced the aluminum cup as an alternative to plastic cups. Using aluminum from a variety of suppliers, Ball has developed and refined the proprietary forming and finishing processes for the cups over a number of years.
This fall, Ball rolled out a number of pilot samples of their new cups at major venues and concessionaires across the U.S. Ball promises that the silver-toned cups will provide an elevated drinking experience compared to plastic. They’re durable, sustainable, and — possibly best of all — cool to the touch.
The Environmental Advantage
Sustainably speaking, the aluminum cup (much like a can) can be recycled and back in a consumer’s hand in as few as 60 days. Aluminum cans remain the most recycled beverage container in the U.S. with a 10-20 point recycling rate advantage against glass and plastic. Aluminum is the most sustainable beverage packing material and can be recycled an infinite number of times without losing quality.
“Sustainability matters and Ball’s aluminum cup offers an elevated drinking experience and branding opportunities with sustainability advantages such as infinite recyclability,” said Scott McCarty, director of strategic communications for Ball. McCarty envisions aluminum cups becoming as popular or more popular as the famed red party cup, now that consumers are making conscious purchasing choices based on sustainability and not just convenience.
A Better Drinking Experience
According to Ball, customer research shows that the overwhelming majority of consumers enjoy the experience of drinking from the aluminum cup and would prefer establishments who serve cold beverages in them. Anyone who’s ever picked up an ice-cold can to swig on a blazing hot summer day can vouch for aluminum’s ability to isolate temperature.
Another benefit is that the shiny aluminum cups can be customized with logos and graphics. Ball’s aluminum cups are currently available in a 20 oz. size with a plan to introduce additional sizes based on market demand. The corporation expects to ramp up production at its Westminster, Colorado, innovation facility by the end of 2020, and hopes to soon expand adoption of the cups to restaurants, bars, convenience stores, breweries, and retail locations.