Novelis increases aluminum recycling capacity to supply sustainable food packaging demand
Novelis will invest more than $30 million to build a new continuous annealing line at its Plettenberg-Ohle, Germany, aluminum recycling facility. The additional line will double the plant's capacity for aluminum used in the production of coffee capsules, a market that is growing in response to increased demand for sustainable packaging solutions.
Many coffee brands are now choosing aluminum over plastic to produce coffee capsules. Aluminum offers unique barrier properties and protects the freshness and aromas of capsulated coffee from moisture, light, and air better than other materials. In addition, aluminum is a perfect material for the circular economy and resource efficiency because it can be recycled again and again, without losing its properties.
The starter material for many aluminum coffee capsules comes from Novelis' Ohle plant. Expected to begin operations in spring 2024, construction preparations will commence upon receipt of final government approval for the new annealing line.
"The investment demonstrates our commitment to serve as a trusted partner for our food and packaging industry customers and create more sustainable solutions for consumers," said Emilio Braghi, executive vice president and president at Novelis Europe. "Increasing the use of recycled aluminum helps us reduce the use of natural resources, strengthen the circular economy and thus limit climate change. Our sustainability commitments include a 30 percent carbon footprint reduction by 2026 and achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 or sooner, thereby helping our customers reach their sustainability goals as well."
Together with its partners along the value chain, Novelis is developing low-carbon aluminum solutions and creating recycling loops for production and end-of-life scrap. This enables the company to produce innovative alloys, such as those used in the production of coffee capsules made with more than 80 percent recycled aluminum – confirmed by an independent international certification body.
In Nachterstedt, Germany, Novelis operates an aluminum recycling centre with an annual capacity of 400,000 tons. The starting material for coffee capsules is cast in Nachterstedt from used aluminum and then processed in Ohle to meet capsule producers' most demanding product specifications.