A new pull tab that stays attached to aluminum beer and soft drink cans after they are opened will be introduced in the Washington area next week, heralding the beginning of the end for a generation of pull-off tabs that have littered landscapes.
Reynolds Metals Co. in Richmond, which developed the new opening devices, announced yesterday that cans of Shasta cola and root beer being shipped here will employ the "stayon" tab.
In addition, Safeway Stroes, Inc., of Oakland, Calif., one of the area's two largest food retailers, will begin using the develop on its Cragmont brand baverages late in the month.
Several states and some local jurisdictions have laws in force or planned to ban pull of the labs. States with such laws include Vermont, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregan and California (offective July 1, 1979).
Localty, Fairfax County has banned the throw-away starting Sept. 1, a decision being challenged in court.
"Sonner or later, it's got to come everywhere," a Reynolds spokesman said yesterday. As with conventional pull tabs, consumers open the new lab by lifting and pulling it forward," he explained. The tab remains attached to the can, however (see accompanying photographs),
Shasta plans to use the can tops on a new line of 8-ounce cans (12 ounces is the standard size) introduces on the West Coast and in Florida.
According to Thomas J. Young, Middle Atlantic sales manager for the Reynolds can division, more than 53 per cent of the beverage cans produced in the U.S. this year will be of aluminum, up from less than 10 per cent in 1969.
More than half on the 6 billion can tops produced by Reynolds annually are of the new stay-on variety, and three competing companies have been licensed by the Richmond firm to use the process on their own cans. Other beverage cans are manufactured from steel.
Effective this week. Reynolds boosted the price of can ends by between 2 and 2.6 per cent. Spokesmen for Reynolds and Safeway said the cost of stay-on tops will have no impact on consumer prices because the price is spread over thousands of cans and amounts to far less than a penny per can.
Some beer firms also have started using the new tops, for which the only aluminum competition is the "pressin" cicles used by the Adolph Coors brewing firm.