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The world of Aluminium Closures
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Aluminium Closures Group: Celebrating 10 years of progress

The Aluminium Closures Group (ACG) is celebrating 10 years since its formation in 2012. The ACG has played an influential role in promoting the benefits of screwcaps via a number of landmark events and campaigns, plus undertaking important research over the last decade. These have been aimed at producers in wine, spirits, water, oil and vinegar markets, as well as consumers. ACG will be marking its anniversary in various ways, not least with a strong presence at ProWein (15-17 May 2022 - Hall 5 / A67.) The group proudly represents companies which are responsible for more than 70% of global aluminium closure production.

Soon after its formation, the Group initiated a core campaign called ‘Turn 360°’ and launched a dedicated website to promote aluminium closures as an intelligent and economic alternative to other closure systems. This highlighted the many benefits of aluminium closures in areas such as taste and quality, sustainability and recycling, convenience, technology, cost efficiency and design. ‘Turn 360°’ offered easy-to-grasp information and scientific findings regarding sustainability to enable the industry to demonstrate these closures’ superior characteristics.

At the time, Franco Bove, Chair of the ACG said, “Aluminium closures are a ‘seal of quality’, not just from the viewpoint of, for example, wine’s flavour, but also from aspects of sustainability, convenience, and cost efficiency.”

The following campaigns

Several other campaigns followed this core messaging initiative. These included a special event in 2016, Alunch, where consumers could bring their aluminium wine closures to an eatery in central Brussels and ‘pay’ for their lunch (served in alufoil containers) with the used screwcaps, which were then sent for recycling; a fun way to highlight the recyclability of the material.

In 2015 members of the group came together at ProWein to jointly promote the benefits of aluminium closures for the first time. In the following year, again at ProWein, the group ran a ‘Makes Convenience Fun’ campaign featuring a closure opening and closing time challenge. In 2019 ACG relaunched its new and expanded website. It contains compelling information about the growing use of these closures across all markets globally.

For some years ACG has also taken a sponsorship role at the leading international wine award, Mundus Vini, tasting event, as well as participating at several other events, to turn the spotlight on the many advantages of aluminium closures. At Mundus Vini, the number of award-winning wines, using screwcaps, across all categories, has increased significantly year on year.

From a research perspective, ACG has undertaken two extensive consumer surveys, the first undertaken by IPSOS in 2015 which was then updated by Censuswide in 2020. The latter was an in-depth survey of 5,000 consumers, to discover consumer preferences on wine closures in five major European markets. This confirmed that most continue to prefer aluminium closures over other options and that this trend is set to accelerate.

The Group has also been reporting on recycling issues since its inception and has been able to announce increasingly good numbers of aluminium closures returning to the recycling stream, notably at least more than every second aluminium closure in Europe. In addition, a Lifecycle Assessment (LCA) showed aluminium closures have the lowest overall environmental impact when the whole life cycle of a bottle of wine is considered. This is mainly because they considerably reduce the risk of spoilage of the wine.

It can truly be called a decade of success for ACG and the aluminium closure sector, as the number of wines, spirits, oils and water now utilizing this convenient and environmentally sound means of capping the products has grown steadily in that time. Significantly more and more winemakers are turning to screwcaps.

The share of aluminium closures

In Europe during the pandemic year 2021, despite a decline in total wine consumption, the share using aluminium screwcaps grew to almost 35% based on still light grape wines, while worldwide it is now slightly above 36%, according to Euromonitor International, whereas other types of wine closures continued to lose market share. In the spirits market, which had expanded rapidly until the pandemic, screwcaps continue to dominate, with a 90% share, which it has maintained, despite the drop in volumes.

Commenting on the achievements of the last decade ACG Chair Franco Bove said, “The research and promotion undertaken by the Closures Group has had a real impact on the perception and acceptance of aluminium closures across all the markets we serve. Importantly, winemakers in more traditional markets now have better awareness of the significant benefits of screwcaps and are turning to them in increasing numbers, even for premium vintages. For New World winemakers, in USA, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand and South America, our aluminium closures are now dominant.”

“Advances in technology mean aluminium closure manufacturers can offer better branding opportunities, tamper evidence and even connectivity with the customer. In addition, a better understanding of the environmental benefits and improvements in recycling, in terms of collection and reprocessing, further strengthen the messages about sustainability. We are looking forward to the next decade with optimism and confidence in further innovation and growth,” added Mr Bove.


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