aluminum packaging

Plastic vs. Aluminum in the Pet Food Market

Let’s make a brief comparison between plastic and aluminum.

269,000 tonnes: that’s how much plastic is floating in the ocean; 39% of this plastic – or 107,000 tonnes – comes from packaging.

PET is the plastic we are most commonly familiar with. This thermoplastic polymer resin is used in the food, clothing, and home care industries as well as many others. It takes 450 years for this polymer to decompose and only a small portion of PET plastic waste is recycled: as little as 20% in 2015.

In contrast, aluminium – made from bauxite ore – is completely recyclable, in addition to being light and strong. An aluminium can is 100% recyclable and, in fact, it is the most widely recycled container in the world. In Europe, the recycling average was 73% in 2015, growing to 74.5% in 2017, with 420,000 tonnes of recycled material.

Clevertech noticed a shift from flexible to aluminum packaging especially in the pet food market.

Wet food is a growing trend, because it is perceived as better for animal feed

The global pet food market is growing at a fast pace, with a 6% growth expected between 2019 and 2029. The regions that will see a higher growth are North America and Europe. This growth will also be a transformational one. As a matter of fact, the “humanisation” of pet food is driving the demand for premium, high-quality pet food and this, in turn, is affecting packaging choices in the market.

Take, for example, wet food. It is a growing trend because it is perceived as a better diet for the animals and is sold at a higher price than dry food. In the last decade there was an increase of flexible single-dose packaging (pouches) in this segment, but we are now witnessing a trend reversal to more sustainable aluminum packaging.

pet food in barattolo di alluminio

The 85g aluminum container category in Petfood

Clevertech’s expertise involves the design of integrated handling systems encompassing every step in the process, from production to handling of the bulk product all the way to packaging of the finished product. This includes basket loaders and unloaders serving heat-treating autoclaves; bulk product palletising and de-palletising; and final secondary-packaging palletising, with conveyors and wrapping.

In the 85g aluminum container category, we developed large systems in America and Europe for a big multinational pet food corporation that include the fastest handling system in the world: a palletisation system for bulk and filled aluminum containers capable of handling almost 2,200 containers per minute and up to 10 layers per minute.

pet food in alluminio

The layer forming belt patented by Clevertech also incorporates a special device to prevent voids in the corners of the layer as well as smart management of camera and robot axis data interpolation, in order to achieve a perfect bulk product layer.