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Sustainable Packaging is Changing the Game

Pong games are about to get a lot more noisy following the latest innovation in the sustainable packaging industry.

Ball is launching a pilot of infinitely recyclable aluminum cups in the U.S. The company developed the aluminum cup over the past several years as an alternative to plastic cups for use at home and in other areas where plastic cups are common, including indoor and outdoor venues across the country.

Beginning September 2019, Ball will roll out a number of pilots with major venues and concessionaires across the U.S. to replace their plastic cups with aluminum cups. The pilot will produce a limited supply of aluminum cups through 2020 for use in such locations.

The cup is currently available in a 20-oz size and Ball aims to introduce additional sizes in the future based on market demand. Additionally, the company expects to ramp up production in its Westminster, CO, innovation facility by the end of 2020.

Sixty-seven percent of U.S. consumers will visit a venue more often if they use aluminum cups instead of plastic cups and 78% of consumers expect beverage brands to use environmentally friendly containers in the next five years, according to Ball’s research.

Meanwhile, you’ll soon be able to pair your aluminum cup with a straw made of pasta. Uk-based startup Stroodles produces straws the same shape and size as a standard plastic straw, but out of uncooked pasta noodles, reported Fast Company (Aug. 26).

Unlike a paper straw, the company claims they don’t taste like wet paper and don’t change the flavor of the drink. They last at least an hour, and longer in colder drinks. “Let’s say you have your gin and tonic and then you refill it with ice, it goes even longer,” Maxim Gelmann, founder of Stroodles said. “If you’re nursing a drink for hours and the pasta eventually softens, you can choose to eat it.”

Stroodles isn’t the only pasta-straw startup out there, but it is hoping to differentiate itself with a smoother, more plastic-like texture and its branding. It’s more expensive to make than a plastic straw, but at large volumes, it can compete with the cost of paper straws.

The global green packaging market was worth $168.2 billion in 2018, reported Yahoo! Finance (Aug. 23). The growing awareness regarding environmental conservation and sustainable living is one of the key drivers of the market.

This, in addition to stringent governmental regulations for environment protection and the industrial trend of incorporating renewably sourced materials in the manufacturing process, is significantly catalyzing the market growth.

An increasing number of initiatives by governments of both developed and emerging nations to encourage the incorporation of green packaging across various industries is projected to drive the market in the coming years.

Other factors contributing to the market growth include increasing research and development activities and technological advancements in the manufacturing of green packaging materials such as bio-based resins.

The market is expected to reach a value of $238.6 billion by 2024, at a projected CAGR of around 6% during 2019-2024.