Plastic’s not fantastic

The march of plastics seems to have been in full flow over the past couple of weeks.

First the iconic canned meat Spam announced the sale of a plastic tub, then a British Company bought out a plastic “can”.

The truth is plastic is not fantastic it’s a poorer version of metal and is worse for the environment overall.

But the problem is metal, while making its way against glass with the craft beer and ale markets, is not taking market share from plastic.

In food cans especially there is a push from fillers for plastic over metal driven by two factors.

Firstly, a misconception that metal is old hat and, secondly, the increased distrust of any product containing BPA.

On the BPA front, that war has been lost and can makers need to forget about whether it’s bad or not for you and just research and produce viable alternatives.

But on the consumer perception front there’s still plenty that can be done.

Take this quote from a story on our website from a retired can maker, “Plastic is made from petroleum they do not breakdown naturally, not recycled, just more junk to load the already overloaded solid waste dumps.

“Steel cans are more environmentally friendly. They can be recycled, and many are today.”

The green credential of metal over plastic is the big driver where cans can show their superiority.

Metal is being dug from landfills now to reuse and is, in principle, infinitely recyclable – unlike plastic.

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