Cans for a Greener Tomorrow

November 7, 2022
Origin of Sustainable Can Making

The Toyo Ultimate Can (TULC) process was researched and developed beginning in the early 1970s in effort to reduce operational footprint and eliminate the use of large amounts of lubricants and water found in traditional manufacturing lines. They found a pre-coated metal sheet addressed such issues and lessened the environmental impact of can making.

Although the technology was first developed for steel cans, it was quickly realized the same technology could be applied to aluminum to produce cans with concepts of high functionality, low cost, and low environmental impact. After further research and development, aTULC was officially on the market beginning in 2002, and quickly adopted for alcoholic beverages.

Because of this, aTULC acquired the first EcoLeaf label, a Japan-based environmental label, for metal beverage cans, based on the lifecycle assessment of the sustainability of the extraction, manufacturing, distribution, use and recyclability of the end product.

Waterless Manufacturing Process

aTULC uses a pre-coated aluminum sheet, which adds sustainability benefits to the manufacturing process as it eliminates the need for coolant, chemicals and water during the forming stage of the process. On traditional lines, these substances are needed to withhold the integrity of the aluminum in its new form. However, the use of a pre-coated sheet makes it more malleable to stretch into a can body without extra lubrication.

This process saves around 20,000 gallons of water per day compared to a traditional manufacturing line. Additionally, this lack of water and coolant usage drops solid waste emissions to 0. This erases the need for wastewater treatment, allowing the manufacturing plant to operate within Austin city limits.