Metal is the packaging material choice for a huge range of products because of the advantages it offers at every stage of the supply chain. For example, being exceptionally strong, metal packaging can be filled very quickly without product loss, transported with minimum damage and closely stacked to maximise shelf space. Once the contents are finished with the metal is easily recycled, which fits with the global aspirations for a circular economy.
Here is an at a glance reminder of the many benefits of metal packaging.
- Canned food and drink does not have to be refrigerated so it requires less energy during warehousing and storage.
- Metal food and drink cans are 100% recyclable and always will be, because metal is a permanently available material.
- Aluminium and iron are metal elements that can’t be destroyed and lose none of their inherent qualities or strength – no matter how many times they are recycled.
- Around 80% of the metal that has been produced in the world so far is still available for use.
- Nearly 75% of metal packaging is already recycled in Europe, and plans are in place to reach 80% by 2020.
- Metal cans preserve the nutritional integrity of food while giving it an extraordinary shelf life.
- Canned food is sealed in the can then cooked at high temperatures to sterilise the contents – guaranteeing it is free of the microbes that could cause food poisoning.
- More than 1,500 food types are now routinely packed into metal cans, enabling people around the world to eat high quality out-of-season food all year round.
- According to research conducted at the University of Illinois, canned fruit and vegetables are nutritionally similar to (and in some cases superior to) fresh or frozen alternatives.
- The inherent strength of metal packaging makes it highly resistant to knocks, impacts and punctures. This means it can withstand rough handling during transportation.
- Tamper-proof and tamper-resistant cans offer reassurance that a product is exactly what it says it is, which in the case of food products can be critical to health and well-being.
- Metal provides the perfect ‘blank canvas’ for creative designs, both in the shape of the packaging and the artistry of the print work. This makes it an exciting as well as practical packaging choice for brands that want a competitive edge on the shelf.
- The convenient easy-opening can top, inspired by drinks cans, was applied to food cans in 2004 and hailed as the most significant development in packaging for 100 years.
- Metal packaging is convenient because it is unbreakable, only requires ambient storage, has a long shelf life as well as being infinitely recyclable.
For more interesting metal packaging facts read our Did you know? article.