What is aluminum foil packaging

Aluminum foil is ecologically better than its reputation

A current study by the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (IFEU) shows that single-use products achieve equivalent and sometimes even better results in terms of the ecological balance than reusable solutions. According to these scientific studies, aluminum household foil is no more harmful to the environment than a typical plastic lunch box.

So far, the household foil made of aluminum was an ecological "no-go" for many consumers due to environmental aspects, which in some European countries led to bans on aluminum household foil in kindergartens and schools.

Instead, the reusable plastic can is considered more environmentally friendly by many. The current IFEU study proves the opposite, announced the European Aluminum Foil Association e.V. (EAFA). The independent study was carried out on their behalf.

The wrapping of a sandwich in the disposable material household foil made of aluminum and in the reusable solution plastic box was examined. In the life cycle assessment, all environmental impacts of aluminum household foil - including its production and disposal - were compared with those of the plastic lunch box cleaned in energy-efficient dishwashers. The manufacture of the plastic cans was not taken into account because of their many uses during their entire service life.

The IFEU study certifies that the environmental impact of cleaning or rinsing a plastic can is the same or, in some cases, even greater than that which can be attributed to the equivalent use of an appropriate piece of household aluminum foil. Taking into account the various possible uses of the consumer, various scenarios were also examined within the life cycle assessment: different thicknesses of aluminum foil, number of sandwiches and different cleaning agents. In all scenarios of the life cycle assessment, which were carried out in accordance with the current ISO standard 14044 including an independent test, the household foil made of aluminum performed equally or significantly better than the plastic can.

IFEU project manager Frank Wellenreuther writes in the final report of the life cycle assessment: “From an ecological point of view, the aluminum foil is no worse than the plastic can. The environmental impact of aluminum foil is lower in most impact categories and the same in the remaining categories. Accordingly, the use of a reasonable amount of aluminum foil to wrap a sandwich or two is seen as particularly responsible for European households. "