Metal Packaging for Reducing Waste
This week is the European Week for Waste Reduction, an initiative promoting the implementation of awareness-raising actions about sustainable resource and waste management in Europe. The initiative will focus on Circular Communities and on three main pillars, namely reducing consumption, reusing products and materials, and recycling waste. Prompted by a pandemic-induced increase in littering observed all over Europe, this initiative is running its 12th edition campaign taking place simultaneously in 33 countries.
The metal packaging industry is working continuously to reduce waste, increase separate collection and recycling, and subsequently, accelerate the transition to a circular economy.
Metal packaging as a permanent material
As a permanent material, metal packaging is infinitely recyclable. In fact, the inherent properties of the metal used in metal packaging do not change during use nor after repeated recycling processes.
The overall recycling rate for aluminium cans in the European Union, Switzerland, Norway and Iceland has reached an all-time record of 76,1% in 2019, while steel cans reached an all-time high of 84%. These exceptional results make metal packaging the leader in terms of recycling and offers the perfect fit for a sustainable and circular production and consumption system.
Given that each person in the EU generates just under 200kg of food waste per year on average, metal food packaging can be a reliable option to fight this trend. Thanks to its hermetic seal, metal cans function as total barriers against light, air and contamination, preserving freshness, flavour and nutritional values of its content for up to 5 years. Moreover, as the cans are available in a wide range of different sizes and formats, they can be adapted for any type of usage.
Recycling Metal Packaging
Metal cans, be they made of steel or aluminium, are extremely easy to recycle. Recycling aluminium cans is a straightforward and fast process: once collected, the cans are easily separated from packaging made of other materials using an eddy current and can then be transformed into new products within just 60 days.
And choosing steel to pack your products will not only make recycling easy - since all that is needed to separate it from other packaging waste is a magnet - but it will help reduce waste and save energy as well. In fact, 100% of all collected steel is used again to make new steel products. Not only it is impact-resistant, but it is also unbreakable along the supply chain.
By choosing metal cans in our daily lives, we can help reduce waste and contribute to a more sustainable future for all.