SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — The aluminum shortage stems from a lack of recycling cans, thanks to the coronavirus shutting down return services for months.

The pandemic has also forced production to slow down, as plants that make cans are working with reduced staff.

The manager of Marto Brewing Company, Jzar Templin, said two sizes are particularly hard to find.

“These 12 ounce cans are almost impossible to find at the moment, and a lot of breweries are actually switching to 16 ounce aluminum cans, which are kind of scarce as well, but they’ve almost doubled in price at the moment,” said Templin.

Meanwhile, the demand for canned drinks has gone up, as Americans stay home. Local businesses say it’s especially difficult for smaller breweries who go up against larger distributors.

“They’re also buying these cans, so it makes it kind of harder for the small guys the little guys to get their hands on things,” said Templin.

Matt Hastad, the owner of Remedy Brewing, said it’s not just other large beer distributers aren’t the only problem.

“People don’t realize, it’s not just beer cans, this is for you know, the major soda companies at the same time are buying their aluminum from the same places we are,” said Hastad.

The shortage is forcing some businesses to change their customized cans like the ones sold at Remedy Brewing.

“We’re very specific with our packaging, we get a lot of our cans pre printed and getting preprinted cans pretty much went out the window in 2020, so we had to kind of change up our packaging options and can sizes as well,” said Hastad.

Both companies say they have been working to cope with the shortage.

“It has been both diversifying where our cans come from and at the same time when we find a good deal, trying to make sure that we stock up as much as we possibly can,” said Hastad.

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