We proactively position and support the positive attributes and image of metal packaging through joint marketing, environmental and technical initiatives.
Concept of Permanent Materials
In order to move towards a true resource efficient 'Recycling Society', it is key that we make a clear distinction between recycling which leads to gradual degradation of the material and recycling which keeps the material in the loop without losing its intrinsic characteristics. Made from permanent materials, metal packaging saves resources and it ideally placed to contribute to the Circular Economy.
To learn about the two pillars of the Concept of Permanent Materials, i.e. inherent material properties and material stewardship, please see the Carbotech study. A summary and presentation are also available for download below.
Find out more about our sustainability story here.
LCA & LCI dataset
The Metal Packaging Europe Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) study identifies the average environmental impact (s) of the life cycle of metal packaging products manufactured in Europe.
The report showcases the industry’s contribution to sustainable development, which is perfectly aligned with circular economy thinking. The LCA - which is ISO 14040/44 compliant - uses 2013 data, provided by the leading can makers and their suppliers, and covers the aerosol, food, general line, and speciality sectors.
For LCA modeling the Life Cycle Inventories (LCIs) of the production stages and some selected further life cycle stages of the average metal packaging produced in Europe are available.
The Metal Packaging Europe Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) study was conducted by RDC Environment, an independent international environmental consultancy firm, and peer-reviewed by Solinnen, an environmental consultancy specialised in LCA practices.
Recycled content and the case for metal packaging
In the case of rigid metal packaging, only recycling will pay off: Recycling brings an environmental benefit no matter for which metal application the recycled material is subsequently used – the material loop is working. Whatever the next application or product (automotive, construction, packaging etc.), the environmental benefit occurs at the time of re-melting the collected metal packaging (when scrap substitutes primary material) and not at the point of re-shaping the secondary material.
Both, steel and aluminium, face a strong multi-market demand for scrap, which has always exceeded the supply of scrap. Given this market situation, a recycled content approach would divert the scrap flow from one stream to another, adding potential system costs and bringing no added environmental benefit.
Recycled content and metal packaging in the context of LCA modelling
In LCAs for metal packaging, the end of life recycling rate approach should be used as most adequate proxy. See further explanation here.