Food can’s footprint drops 30% in a decade

The environmental impact of the three-piece 425ml steel food can has fallen by almost a third since 2000, according to research.

A study, by Empac and its supply chain partners released today (19 March), looked at the environmental impact of the iconic three-piece.

It found the can’s carbon footprint has been reduced, on average, by 30% between 2000 and 2010.

The study claims reductions in the can’s average weight and an increase in steel recycling rates have been the driving forces behind the carbon drop.

Since 2000 the average can weight has dropped by some 6% while the average European recycling rate for steel has improve by 44%, according to the research.

The report goes on to claim further ‘double-digit savings’ could be achieved, in the medium term, with advances in both weight reduction and steel recycling rates.

A spokeswoman for Empac said: “This study illustrates how European food can manufacturers have successfully decoupled economic growth from environmental impact.

“Today, food cans are lighter, safer, stronger, more sustainable and will continue to play a key and responsible role in the food chain.”

Data for the study was provided by the following three entities:

• APEAL – the Association of European Producers of Steel for Packaging

• Soudronic – a leading Swiss manufacturer of slitters, can body and drum welders,

bodyformers and end making systems

• TNO – the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research using the Empac environmental scorecard

By Luke Walsh

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