Interview with AEROSAL Secretary General – Mr. Gregor Spengler
① What are AEROBAL’s main aims and tasks?The association represents the interests of the leading international producers of aluminium aerosol containers. AEROBAL’s aim is to enter into an open dialog...
① What are AEROBAL’s main aims and tasks?
The association represents the interests of the leading international producers of aluminium aerosol containers. AEROBAL’s aim is to enter into an open dialogue with public and other stakeholders in order to promote aluminium as packaging material and the products of its members. The association’s activities focus on:
- Representation of the international aluminium aerosol can industry to third parties
- Supply of statistics, packaging and raw material market information for its members
- Monitoring the international packaging, transport, food contact and environmental legislation
- Monitoring the standardisation of aluminium aerosol cans
- Cooperation with other packaging and aerosol associations
- Public relations and carrying out of the annual contest "International Aluminium Aerosol Can Award"
② What are the future trends and challenges in the aluminum aerosol can industry in your opinion?
Currently, some of the main trends and challenges of the aluminum aerosol can industry are:
- Introducing new shapes and innovative printing technologies in the market (e.g. digital printing) to further boost the containers’ shelf impact and to be able to provide individualized packaging.
- Further improving the aluminium aerosol can industry’s sustainability performance through a continuous increase of recycling rates and further light-weighting of the containers. Further light-weighting can for example be achieved through the use of modified aluminium alloys.
- Reasonable use of existing production technologies such as impact extrusion and drawing & ironing (D&I). The D&I technology which allows material savings is especially suitable for big diameters, big lot sizes and cans with limited shapes. However, the current market situation for cosmetics (e.g. deodorants) requires exactly the opposite which can probably be better realized with the impact extrusion technology.
- Developing alternatives to PAM- and BPA-based internal coatings together with coating producers and fillers because these substances have come under fire, especially in Europe.
- Finding clever answers to the trends of increasing on-the-go consumption and intelligent packaging which communicates with the consumer.
③ How can the convergence and integration of the Chinese aluminum aerosol can industry with the international markets be improved?
The Chinese Aerosol Committee of the China Packaging Federation should continue to establish and maintain close contacts to European and other national and international aerosol associations in order to keep abreast of market trends, regulatory affairs and standardisation activities in the different world markets and to learn from each other.
④ Could you give the Chinese aluminum aerosol can enterprises some recommendations?
I think that it is not my right to give recommendations to Chinese aluminium aerosol can producers. But if you ask me what important characteristics of a leading player in the aluminium aerosol can industry might be, I would say:
- Always have a close look at customers’ and consumers’ key requirements inside and outside China and take into account the different cultures.
- Invest in tailor-made production technologies which comply with the market requirements.
- Improve the recycling of aluminium aerosol cans in China because aluminium is a valuable material which must not be landfilled.
- Look out for new applications for aluminium aerosols because there are a lot of products out there in the market which could be packed in convenient aluminium aerosols. Think outside the box!
- Make sure that there is no compromising on safety in the supply chain because one serious accident with aerosols can be enough to discredit the entire packaging system.
- Stay flexible and innovative because continuous innovation and the ability to swiftly react to changing market trends make sure that your products gain a competitive edge.
All in all, Chinese aluminium aerosol can producers should focus on the main assets of aluminium cans which are product protection, sustainability and recycling, design and shaping, convenience, hygiene and last but not least safety.
⑤ Could you please highlight some of the most relevant legislation for the aluminum aerosol can industry?
Given the multitude of relevant legislation worldwide along the entire supply chain it is impossible to highlight any legislation. Companies have to make sure that they follow closely and comply with existing legislation and that they keep an eye on new legislation proposals which are relevant for the industry. In this context also the aerosol associations worldwide play a vital role to represent the industry’s interests. Compliance has become one of the core elements of brand owners’ company policies and this has corresponding effects along the entire supply chain. So any market player has to make sure that he stays up to date in this important field.