Cans to become preferred packaging

Global – Sustainable attributes drive adoption of aluminium cans from beverage-makers

When a recycled material is used to make a new product, natural resources and energy are conserved. In the words of the coordinator for the first Earth Day (April 22, 1970) environmental advocate Denis Hayes said: “Listen up, you couch potatoes; each recycled beer can saves enough electricity to run a television for three hours.” In the same vein, manufacturing with recycled aluminium cans uses 95% less energy than creating the same amount of aluminium with bauxite, experts note.

Moreover, there is the potential for essentially all of the aluminium in beverage cans to be recycled multiple times, generating significant environmental and economic benefits, note Scott Breen, vice president of sustainability, and Sherrie Rosenblatt, vice president of marketing and communications, at the Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI), Washington DC.

“It is no surprise that beer, energy, health and soft drink beverage companies are enjoying the many benefits of the aluminium can, which has the highest recycling rate among all beverage packaging,” Breen and Rosenblatt say. “In CMI’s latest can shipment reports, aluminium can production in the United States and Canada increased 3.5%.

“There are many sustainability advantages to packaging beverages in an aluminium can. Compared to plastic PET or glass bottles, aluminium cans lead the way in the key measures of recycling rate, recycled content and value per ton,” they continue. “An industry-leading 45% of aluminium cans are being recycled and an average 93% of recycled cans will end up as new cans, typically in as little as 60 days. As a result, the US beverage can on average is made up of 73% recycled aluminium. This continuous circular journey happens over and over again because metal recycles forever.”

Recent trends indicate that more than 70% of new beverage product introductions are in aluminium cans and long-standing customers are moving away from plastic bottles and other packaging substrates to cans due to environmental concerns. For aluminium bottles we expect to witness a surge in demand and growth in the next five to 10 years. BeverageIndustry

Port2Africa and SADC trade agreement

The Protocol on Trade

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Trade (1996), as amended in 2010, is one of the most important legal instruments guiding SADC’s work on Trade. It is an agreement between SADC Member States to reduce customs duties and other barriers to trade on imported products amongst SADC Member States. The Protocol envisioned the establishment of a Free Trade Area in the region. The Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan targeted achievement of SADC Free Trade Area by 2008 and a Customs Union by 2010.

Free Trade Area, in which Member States agree to remove tariffs against each other but are free to levy their own external tariffs on non-member nations, fosters economic cooperation between Member States. A Customs Union adds a common external tariff against non-SADC countries, with all members of the union receiving shares from that tariff.

During the 28th SADC Summit, held in Johannesburg in August 2008, the Free Trade Area was officially launched by 12 of the 15 SADC Member States. By the beginning of 2008, most customs duties had been eliminated on goods from the participating Member States (i.e. about 85% of goods attained zero duty in January 2008) and a Common Tariff System was applied to import of goods from non-Member States. The Protocol on Trade in Services was developed and signed in August, 2012 as a step towards achieving a Free Trade Area in Services. These are important steps towards achieving the subsequent SADC Integration Milestones such as the Customs UnionCommon Market and Monetary Union.

SADC encourages the following strategies as a way to foster trade throughout Southern Africa:

  • Gradual elimination of tariffs;
  • Adoption of common rules of origin;
  • Harmonisation of customs rules and procedures;
  • Attainment of internationally acceptable standards, quality, accreditation, and metrology;
  • Harmonisation of sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures;
  • Elimination of non-tariff barriers (i.e., any barrier to trade other than import and export duties); and
  • Liberalisation of trade in services.

SADC addresses the Trade issues within the region by focusing on five key areas:


The EU – Southern African Development Community (SADC) Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) states comprising Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) signed the SADC EPA agreement on 10 June 2016. The EPA came provisionally into force as of 10 October 2016, with Mozambique provisionally applying it since 4 February 2018.

The SADC EPA is a development-focused trade agreement, granting asymmetric access to the partners in the SADC EPA group. They can shield sensitive products from full liberalisation and deploy safeguards when imports from the EU are growing too quickly. A chapter on cooperation identifies trade-related areas that can benefit from funding. The agreement also contains a chapter on sustainable development, which covers social and environmental matters.

In terms of trade in goods, the new market access includes better trading terms mainly in agriculture and fisheries, including for wine, sugar, fisheries products, flowers and canned fruits. On its side, the EU will obtain meaningful new market access into the Southern African Customs Union (products include wheat, barley, cheese, meat products and butter).

Benefiting countries

  • Botswana / Lesotho / Mozambique / Namibia / South Africa / Eswatini (Swaziland)

The other six members of the Southern African Development Community region – the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Zambia and Zimbabwe – are part of or negotiating EPAs with the EU as part of other regional groups, namely Central Africa or Eastern and Southern Africa.


Port2Africa is now registered under the AGOA trade agreement. This will allow our exports to the US market to be more attractive for our US trading partners. US consumers will be able to receive world class quality products from South Africa at reduced import duties.

Read more on this trade agreement at