The company says it has taken several years to develop the aluminum cup as an alternative to plastic which can be used at home or indoor and outdoor venues across the country.
The pilot project will produce a limited supply of aluminum cups, available in a 20-ounce size, through 2020, and plans to introduce additional sizes in the future based on market demand.
The company will also ramp up production at its Westminster, Colorado, innovation facility by the end of 2020, and hopes to expand adoption of the cups to restaurants, bars, convenience stores, breweries and retail locations.
"As our customers and consumers increasingly seek sustainable beverage packaging options, the launch of the aluminum cup is a significant moment for our company," said John Hayes, chairman, president and CEO.
“Aluminum is the most sustainable beverage packaging material, and we offer more than 30 different aluminum can and bottle shapes and sizes, all of which can be customized and designed in a way that engages consumers without compromising on recyclability.
“At Ball, we know sustainability is now a business imperative amidst the growing plastic pollution crisis – in fact, 78% of consumers expect beverage companies to use environmentally friendly containers in the next five years. Meanwhile, many of the world’s largest concert promoters and mainstay institutions like airports and cultural organizations are eliminating or banning single-use plastics altogether.
“As our customers and consumers increasingly become more concerned about plastic pollution, we are committed to delivering solutions and helping customers and their partners meet their sustainability goals.
“Following the launch of the pilot, we look forward to ramping up production of aluminum cups in 2020 and eventually expanding their adoption in bars, breweries, retail locations and more. In the meantime, we hope the aluminum cup becomes a mainstay offering at sports and entertainment venues as customers and consumers continue to look for ways to reduce their reliance on plastic.”
According to Ball, 67% of US consumers say they will visit a venue more often if it uses aluminum cups instead of plastic cups and 78% of consumers expect beverage brands to use environmentally friendly containers in the next five years.