Chances are you local craft brewer has pivoted to aluminum cans in its packing. In my research on the Pepsi with Real Sugar shortage, I came across a Wine Magazine article: Aluminum and Can Shortages Threaten Craft Beer Industry.
There are a few different types of cans brewers typically use:
- printed – the label is part of the aluminum, the industry standard for macro beers and sodas
- brights – blank cans that the brewers affixes a vinyl or shrinkwrapped label on
Anecdotally, brights, mostly with vinyl labels, are increasingly used by DC area brewers. Any stigma about cans vs. bottles seems to relegated to the past. Aluminum is easily the most sustainable packaging option.
However, “there’s growing annoyance among recyclers that the vinyl and shrink-wrapped labels that small brewers use can catch fire in smelting plants, causing batches of otherwise reusable aluminum to be removed from the stream.”
In short, keep supporting craft brewers and peel off the labels before you recycle those cans. Often, those labels retain their stickiness, so go ahead and decorate your beer fridge.