The positive results of the life-cycle assessment are due to more renewable energies used in manufacturing, a reduction in the use of resources and water and an increase in the recycling rate.

The positive results of the life-cycle assessment are due to more renewable energies used in manufacturing, a reduction in the use of resources and water and an increase in the recycling rate. Photo: Huber Packaging

Cans for the environment

Metal packaging companies publish life-cycle assessment

Substantial reductions in carbon emissions

A recent report, published by EMPAC (European Metal Packaging), the European association of the metal packaging industry, shows that there has been a clear reduction in the carbon footprint of metal products since 2006. The organisation’s life-cycle assessment, which is certified under an ISO standard, is based on data obtained from leading metal packaging manufacturers and their suppliers in 2013. It covers aerosol cans, food cans, packaging for chemical products and speciality packaging.
The run-up to Christmas is full of them: metal packages containing delightful treats such as chocolate, gingerbread and Christmas tea. Photo: Hallingers

The run-up to Christmas is full of them: metal packages containing delightful treats such as chocolate, gingerbread and Christmas tea. Photo: Hallingers

More renewable energies and recycling, fewer raw materials

The experts report carbon savings between 20 and 39 per cent – in other words, tremendous progress. The reasons they give for this reduction include, above all, an increasing use of renewable energies in production and a rise in recycling rates for metal packaging. Another area that is receiving attention is the endeavour to use less and less raw materials per packaging unit, thus also reducing its weight.
Metal packaging has a wide range of benefits, not just in matters of design, but also storage, product protection and shelf life. Photo: Hallingers

Metal packaging has a wide range of benefits, not just in matters of design, but also storage, product protection and shelf life. Photo: Hallingers

Moreover, the life-cycle assessment of a product is very much dependent on the amount of water that is used. The water requirement of an average steel packaging unit has gone down 60 per cent since 2006. Apart from lighter packaging, there have also been ongoing improvements in the manufacturing process as a further contributory factor to these positive results. The companies participating in the study included, among others, Blechwarenfabrik Limburg, Huber Packaging Group, New Box S.p.A. and Sarten Ambalaj San.
Improved life-cycle assessment for metal packaging.  On this photo: Al-Wazir, Minister of Economics, Energy, Transport and Regional Development in the German Federal State of Hesse.

Improved life-cycle assessment for metal packaging. On this photo: Al-Wazir, Minister of Economics, Energy, Transport and Regional Development in the German Federal State of Hesse, on a guided tour of the packaging manufacturing company Blechwarenfabrik Limburg in 2015. Photo: HMWEVL

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