Wednesday, February 16, 2011

No. 246: Kirin employs the world’s lightest aluminum cans for its beer (February 17, 2011)

Kirin Brewery developed the world’s lightest aluminum beer can in alliance with three leading can manufacturing companies: Toyo Seikan, Daiwa Can, and Universal Can. They decreased the diameter of the bottom lid of the existing aluminum can by 2% and successfully secured the same pressure resistance. The newly-developed 350 ml can is 1 gram lighter than the existing aluminum can weighing about 15 grams. Kirin will replace its existing aluminum cans with the newly-developed aluminum cans by degrees toward the end of this year. Kirin uses about 5 billion beer cans annually. This means that the company can reduce aluminum consumption by about 4,000 tons annually, equivalent to the amount consumed by 300 million 350 ml cans. Reduced aluminum consumption allows Kirin to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 8%. The company is strenuously addressing various approaches including modal shift to achieve its own goal to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 60% in 2020 as compared with the level of 1990. With the growing demand for cars in developing countries, the aluminum price stands at 2,500 dollars per ton now, about twice in February 2009, in the London Metal Exchange. Accordingly, the price of synthetic resins that are raw materials of containers and packaging films has been rising continuously in Asia since last summer.

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