The smelting process to produce aluminium was discovered at virtually the same time but completely independently in 1886 by Paul Héroult in France and Charles Martin Hall in the United States. About 75% of the aluminium ever produced is still in use today.
Aluminium containers and foil appeared as early as the beginning of the 20th Century. After World War I, foil packaging came to the forefront in response to consumer demand for choice and convenience that led to changes in production and distribution conditions and systems.
Since the 1960s, consumer and industrial packaging have benefited from the unique combination of properties of aluminium: it is impermeable, odourless and non-toxic. The first aluminium rolled-on pilfer proof closure, also known as ROPP, was introduced in the spirits market and continues to be the closure of choice. It still accounts for nearly 70% of all aluminium closures used with alcoholic beverages.
The aluminium wine closure was invented more than 40 years ago. Swiss wine makers were the first to use aluminium closures in large numbers. In 2000, wine makers in America, Australia and New Zealand began to convert from cork to alu closures. France, Germany, Italy, Chile & Argentina followed in 2002.
ROPP closures are also used extensively for bottled water, particularly sparkling versions, as well as food products such as olive oils where the integrity and quality of the closure is important.