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AN AUSTRALIAN FIRST FOR ALUMINIUM BOTTLES

The Ardagh Group has manufactured the first Australian-made aluminium beverage bottles at its facility in Taree, NSW.

Ardagh took the decision to extend the Taree aluminium portfolio from aerosols to aluminium bottles after its research identified an opportunity to enter a niche, but growing, market segment.

"Aluminium bottles offer some specific advantages to beverage brand owners," said Ardagh Group business development manager Sion Orritt.

"The bottles offer excellent on-shelf branding opportunities. They especially lend themselves to packaging a special promotional product - for example, for a sporting event, product launch, anniversary edition drink, or just to differentiate a product from the competition.

"These bottles could contain a wide range of beverages and we see them as ideal for beer, RTDs or energy drinks.

"The bottle offers consumers the premium look, feel and functionality of a glass bottle, with the added benefits of being unbreakable.

"It can be used safely at outside events or functions."

The aluminium bottle's ability to host high-quality decoration provides a major opportunity for brand owners. The Taree manufacturing process permits world-class graphics with a wide range of special finishes.

Aluminium is 100 per cent recyclable, so this product fits well with the Ardagh Group's policy of continuing to pursue and develop environmentally sustainable packaging options.

Ardagh Group is in discussions with a major beverage industry supplier to bring the bottles to market.

The aluminium bottle is initially available in sizes from 330-355ml with a crown seal closure.

Plans are already being put in place to expand the product range.

The project has been developed in Taree with the support of the whole manufacturing team.

Taree operations manager Dave Downey said the project was a huge learning curve for the plant, with Ardagh investing significant time and resources in producing the Australian-first aluminium cans.

"Ultimately the delivery of the project is down to the ability and dedication of the whole Taree team," he said.

"We have high hopes for the success of this product and are already making plans for the extra volume it will deliver to the business."

The Ardagh Group facility in Taree is the only Australian producer of aluminium aerosol cans. It works closely with its major customers to develop and supply competitive and quality products.

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Ardagh Group has manufactured the first Australian-made aluminium bottle.