Aerobal, the International Organisation of Aluminium Aerosol Container Manufacturers, has published the results of its competition for the best and most innovative aluminium aerosol cans in the world. Experts from magazines in the packaging and aerosol industry selected the winners of the World Aluminium Aerosol Can Award 2023.
The jury chose the aluminium aerosol cans of Nivea's pearl & beauty antiperspirant, produced by the German can manufacturer Tubex, as the winner in the category 'cans already on the market'.
At first glance, they said, the cans captivate with their fascinating design with an unusual and eye-catching colour scheme. The dark aubergine colour is translucent, so that the finely brushed aluminium shimmers through and gives the whole can a special sparkling effect. The focal point of the design, however, is the pearl, which is printed in the finest gradients. For these colour gradients, the copy-dot technique was used to create the special shine of the pearl. The challenge here is to apply exactly the right amount of colour to the dark background. This ensures that the lighter colour is not contaminated with the darker colour and that the fine details of the design remain visible and show up well. This artwork technique is used to highlight design elements. The possibilities it opens up are impressively demonstrated by the example of the winning can. The pearl in its brilliance becomes a visual highlight and is a real eye-catcher. Furthermore, the design concept of the cans convinces with the perfect interplay of colour, shape and elegant lines.
The winner in the category 'prototype' was the 'smart sustainable aerosol can' produced by Nussbaum in Switzerland. It was created in cooperation with the Italian coating manufacturer Salchi Metalcoat Srl.
This innovative can combines sustainability and functionality without compromising on performance, safety and durability. The can body is manufactured from 100 per cent recycled aluminium, sourced from used beverage can waste without the addition of virgin or post-industrial recycled material. The patented Nucan-PCR alloy is certified according to DIN EN ISO 14021, which ensures transparency and traceability of the value chain from the used beverage can to the finished Nucan-PCR can. This can-to-can upcycling concept saves 96 per cent CO2. The clear and white basecoat as well as the clear overprint varnish on the cans are bio-based polyester coatings from Salchi's Biomoco line. The name stands for Biosustainable Modern Coatings and sums up the company's portfolio of coatings made from castor oil and waste cooking oil, partially replacing conventional fossil materials. The coatings convince with excellent mechanical properties, very good elasticity, low VOC content, and they are hot water bath resistant. The bio content of the solids is more than 40 per cent. Finally, the inner coating of the cans is also innovative: the non-BPA epoxy gold lacquer combines the excellent compatibility properties of epoxy coatings with the advantage of a bisphenol A-free lacquer solution.
In the category 'sustainability', first place was awarded twice. Firstly, the German manufacturer Linhardt was awarded for its cans for Lornamead CD deodorants.
The 150 ml aerosol cans are made of 17 per cent lighter slugs and consist of an alloy with 100 per cent post-consumer recycled aluminium and 0.3 per cent virgin manganese. In line with the sustainability principle of avoiding packaging as much as possible, the primary goal of this packaging project was to minimise material use while meeting the stability requirements of a deodorant aerosol can. The second objective of the project was to cut the carbon footprint of the can by using post-consumer recycled (PCR) aluminium. As a result, this innovative can saves 296.5 tonnes of CO2 per million cans produced. Unlike most PCR slugs, the slugs used by Linhardt are produced directly from molten aluminium scrap without an energy-consuming second melting process. For this reason, the results of the life cycle assessment show that these PCR slugs have a very low carbon footprint of 1.1 kg CO2e/kg. This allows for savings of 92 per cent compared to virgin slugs (13.1 kg CO2e/kg). In addition, the lower weight also saves on transport emissions. The supply chain is traceable according to ISO 22095:2020. High security of supply is ensured by high material availability and secured quantities. These 150 ml CD deodorant aerosol cans produced by Linhardt thus represent an excellent combination of material savings and recyclate use.
The jury also voted the aluminium aerosol can produced by Tubex Germany for Nivea's styling mousse into first place in the highly competitive "Sustainability" category.
This unique can demonstrates that a closed-loop concept is also feasible for aluminium monobloc cans: the patented alloy Neucan 3.1 combines the advantages of a significant weight reduction and a possible integration of real PCR. This can is made with 50 per cent real-PCR and is printed with natural colours for design and decoration. The use of PURe (organic printing inks) – in addition to all the other known advantages of this natural printing ink used for the first time – further optimises the holistic approach. The decisive innovation, however, lies in the unique recycling process of the material used in this can as real-PCR. Not only is recycled material used, but the manufacturer has also thought about where exactly the recycled material comes from and how the recycled material was processed to bring it back into the cycle. So, the advantages of the can lie not only in the use of post-consumer recycling (PCR) material, but also in a particularly energy-efficient recycling process. Incidentally, the winning can from Tubex impressively proves that efficient sustainability and excellent looks do not have to be opposites. The successful design and the unique look of the aluminium give the award-winning aerosol can a fantastic appearance, the jury said.
Aerobal secretary general Gregor Spengler said: "Once again, I am very satisfied with the quality of the competition, which year after year impressively demonstrates the performance of our industry and not least the creativity and innovative strength of our member companies. The fact that, in addition to excellent designs, the focus was once again on sustainability underlines its immense importance in the packaging sector. And that makes me very confident for the future because aluminium aerosol cans not only have just one ace up their sleeve compared to other packaging materials due to their numerous positive properties of the metal in terms of sustainability. In addition, the continuous investments and innovations of our industry ensure that the position of the aluminium aerosol can as a sustainable packaging solution of the future will continue to develop positively.