Last month, Danish brewers and soft drink companies began to market locally their products in aluminum and steel cans for the first time in 20 years. Metal packaging had been outlawed because of litter problems and a lack of recycling systems. Late last year, pressured by the European Union and the country’s retailers, Denmark overturned the ban on drinks in metal cans. The EU cited a requirement that member countries cannot block the sale of packaging that has been deemed acceptable across the 15-nation trading block.
However, the repeal of the ban came with provisions. First, individual cans are covered by a 1½-Kroner refundable deposit (U.S.18¢). And, secondly, the beverage makers and retailers agreed to hold off until many of the countries’ 2ꯠ-plus supermarkets will have installed can recycling equipment.
Danish drinks producers continued to operate can lines during the last 20 years, but their output was geared for export to other countries. Overall, if the Danes shift to canned drinks at the EU average, the repeal will boost European can consumption by more than 300 million cans/yr. —AO