Can can celebrate

In 1935, you needed a knife to open this new-fangled invention, then made of tin. Today, it’s a little easier, not to mention thinner, lighter, safer, and it’s the world’s most-recycled packaging. Say “Happy Birthday” to the can – in aluminium, of course.

February 2, 2010

Watch this video on how aluminium cans are made.

“Krueger’s Beer” was the first to come to market in the cylindrical tin body that George Newman had invented: on January 24 , 1935, in Richmond, Virginia. It was a prompt best-seller: 200 million cans were sold in the first year – each weighing in at about 100 grams.

Thin and light

Today’s cans of aluminium weigh just 10 grams and the can walls are 0.097 millimeters thick – thinner than a strand of human hair.

Aluminium cans save energy and resources in transport and usage. They are the lightest packaging in relation to the drink. They cool down or get warm much faster than any other packaging.

Even more important is the sustainable ecological footprint: According to Ball Corp., one of the leading can producers and a major customer of can stock from Hydro for many years, the can is the most-recycled packaging format worldwide.

Big energy savings

In many countries like Norway, Germany, or Brazil, nine out of ten cans are recycled directly, at no loss of quality, again and again. Each time we save up to 95 percent of the energy needed to produce the material the first time around.

That is also why Hydro is committed to strengthening recycling systems, and to attain a fair comparison of competing packaging formats.

The can may be celebrating its 75th birthday this year, but as it says on Hydro’s mineral water can we produce for our profiling activities: “Forever Young.”


Updated: October 11, 2016