History of Aluminum
Beverage cans made from aluminum were first introduced in 1965. This was an exciting innovation for the packaging industry because the aluminum can was made with only two pieces — a body and an end. This made 360-degree printing possible on the body of the can, enhancing store display appeal.
A can could now advertise its contents completely by drawing the consumer's eye to the package and creating a visual appeal to spur purchases of one brand over another. The steel industry followed with its own two-piece can, but it was never fully accepted by brewers and soft drink bottlers.
The aluminum can was easily integrated into the package market because of its ductility (ability to be molded), its support of carbonated pressure, its lighter weight and its resistance to corrosion (aluminum does not rust). But perhaps the most critical element in the aluminum can's success was its recycling value.
Aluminum can recycling excelled economically in its competition with steel because of the efficiencies aluminum cans realized by using recycled materials instead of costly and non-renewable virgin aluminum ore. Steel did not achieve similar economies in the recycling process. Aluminum can recycling became common and responded to the growing concerns of environmentally conscious consumers about the depletion of natural resources and the consequences of what was feared "a throwaway society."
The opportunity to market the all-aluminum can as recyclable and environmentally friendly led to its growing acceptance as a product package.
By 1985, the aluminum can dominated the beverage market.