Infotainment

Aluminum packaging: good or bad?

Aluminum packaging is better than its reputation and offers many benefits especially for cosmetic products. Which are these exactly, we want to explain to you in this article:


Aluminum packaging and the prejudices

Many consumers are skeptical about aluminum packaging and are unsure whether they should find the packaging material good or bad. Maybe you are too? One reason for this general uncertainty is that there is a lot of conflicting information about the packaging in circulation.

Some fear, for example, that the aluminum could pass over to the content and thus contaminate the originally high-quality natural product. Some equate aluminum in this context, even with the critical aluminum salts that can be used in deodrants or sunscreen falsely equal. Others are concerned that aluminum packaging could be particularly harmful to the environment. However, most negative prejudices are largely based on ignorance, because in fact, aluminum tubes are significantly better than their reputation.

However, most negative prejudices are largely based on ignorance, because in fact, aluminum tubes are significantly better than their reputation.

The tasks of packaging materials

To understand why cosmetics manufacturers choose a specific packaging form, you should first know what a packaging product ideally has to do. Especially in the cosmetics sector, the requirements are complex and many factors play a role. A good packaging should.

  • Protect the contents from contamination, light and oxygen.
  • Have a functional, user-friendly handling.
  • Include all required consumer information.
  • Produced as environmentally friendly as possible and recyclable.
  • Have optimal storage and transport behavior.
  • To ensure a long shelf life of the contents.
  • Keep the content stable in its function and scent.
  • Do not pollute the environment.
  • Be visually appealing.
  • Be absolutely harmless to health

The three most common packaging materials include aluminum, glass and plastic. In the cosmetics industry, they are mainly used in the form of tubes, jars, flasks or cans. It is clear that there is no packaging material that meets all the criteria for one hundred percent satisfaction of all. Every material has its advantages and disadvantages, so in the end it is a question of balance and, of course, a matter of priority, which packaging material you choose.


The advantages of aluminum packaging.

Especially when it comes to protecting the ingridients, aluminum is the packaging of choice. It is light and oxygen impermeable and optimally protects the contents from microorganisms. This applies in particular to care products such as creams. In cleaning products such as soaps and shampoos, this problem is much less. Aluminum tubes are therefore particularly hygienic and ensure a long shelf life of the product because the deformability of the material displaces an air space that exists in plastic tubes or crucibles. This not only extends the shelf life of the product, but also ensures a consistent fragrance. This is particularly important in the natural cosmetics sector, as it deliberately dispenses with artificial preservatives. In order to prevent aluminum from getting into the cream or ointment, aluminum tubes are coated on the inside so that the product does not come into direct contact with the aluminum.

The most important advantages in the overview:

  • The contents can be kept away from light and air, ensuring a long shelf life of the contents. • The opaque packaging preserves valuable (often light-sensitive) agents.
  • Due to the air displacement of the moldable material, the product properties remain much more stable.
  • The opaque preservs valuable, often light sensitive, ingridients.
  • It provides a water vapor and greaseproof metal barrier, which is more resistant to microorganisms than many other forms of packaging.
  • The packaging has a low weight, resulting in a more cost-effective and co2 friendly transport.
  • With a suitable coating, the contents have no contact with the aluminum. Thus, the packaging is absolutely harmless to health. In addition, the aluminum in packaging is not comparable to the highly criticized aluminum salts found in some care and deodrants
  • It is unbreakable and therefore easy to transport and store.
  • It has a high recyclability.
Especially when it comes to protecting the ingridients, aluminum is the packaging of choice.

Aluminum packaging and the environment

The fact is: as with almost any other adequate packaging material, the production of aluminum tubes also requires large quantities of raw materials and energy. On the other hand, aluminum can be melted down as often as desired without any loss of quality and can thus be recycled very well. A large part of German aluminum is therefore made from recycled aluminum. The recycling efficiency of aluminum is decidedly high, as only five percent of the energy is needed compared to the original recycling process.

This does not include plastic bags.  Although a large part of it is also recycled. However, “recycling” in this case does not mean that it is actually recycled, but that more than half of it is “energetically recycled”, ie burned. In addition, plastic is made from petroleum and, if it is plant-based, requires a lot of acreage. In contrast to aluminum, bacteria can multiply faster in plastic packaging. As a result, the product is less durable, which in turn contradicts the idea of ​​sustainability.  What also speaks in favor of an aluminum tube as a packaging form is that – in comparison to the glass, for example – lower weight, which, among other things, has a favorable effect on the co2 emission during transport. Apart from the fact that glass can of course break faster and in the cosmetics never recycled glass is used

The recycling efficiency of aluminum is decidedly high, as only five percent of the energy is needed compared to the original recycling process.


Conclusion

Aluminum packaging offers many advantages, which are of great benefit in the natural cosmetics sector in particular. By appropriate coatings, they are also absolutely harmless to health. Disadvantage: For the production of aluminum, valuable raw materials and, of course energy are needed. Even if the eco-balance is not as bad as one or the other thinks, due to the high recycling efficiency and the longer shelf life of the products.

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