Ensuring continued metal packaging manufacturing during COVID-19 pandemic
Metal Packaging Europe (MPE), the association bringing together European producers of rigid metal packaging (including food and beverage cans, aerosols, pails, closures) calls on the European Commission and Member States to recognise the metal packaging sector as essential in ensuring the uninterrupted flow of critical goods. Metal packaging is produced for beverage, food, heal & beauty, household and industrial markets.
Members of Metal Packaging Europe support the strong measures taken by national governments and the European Commission to help halt the spread of the COVID-19 virus. They are committed to guaranteeing the supply of metal packaging, abiding by the strictest safety and hygiene rules, for food and beverage, hygiene, medical and other essential goods throughout Europe.
In order to avoid interruption, it is imperative that metal packaging circulate freely and that the supply chain – including raw materials used in the production process – not suffer disruptions and delays due to measures taken by different Member States. Consumer demand can only be met by maintaining a fully functional Single Market that maintains the free flow of goods and avoids any and all transport issues at intra-EU borders.
MPE members have informed their employees of the measures prescribed by the relevant authorities, and additional procedures have been put in place to ensure that these are strictly followed to safeguard the health and safety of employees, customers and consumers. Good Manufacturing Practice controls are in place to – in a responsible manner – keep production intact, providing packaging which has a crucial role in the supply of critical products for people.
The industry recognises its vital contribution through the production of packaging with a proven and longstanding safety record. Indeed, cans offer an unrivalled performance through the supply chain, meeting a wide range of market needs. In these difficult times, MPE members’ employees continue to work hard in order to help communities overcome this crisis. Many consumers have turned to canned and tinned goods during the quarantine imposed by this global pandemic. Cans are undemanding in terms of storage and handling in general, requiring no additional energy either during transport or storage at home.
MPE welcomes the European Commission’s guidelines on border management as an important first step. However, disruptions challenging the packaging supply chain and reducing transport capacity from day to day are being reported. It is a matter of priority for the Commission and Member States to acknowledge the importance of the entire value chain of the critical sectors identified in the guidelines and that packaging, and the raw materials needed in the manufacturing of this packaging, should be authorised to use designated priority lanes (“green lanes”), to support the free-movement of essential goods.