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European Metal Packaging Empac supports Canvironment awareness week

Global campaign promotes the sustainability of metal cans

European Metal Packaging (Empac), the association bringing together European producers of rigid metal packaging, announces its support of Canvironment week this year. Canvironment week is a unique worldwide initiative that aims to educate and take action to raise awareness around the sustainability of metal cans.

Metal packaging has a recycling rate of 71% in Europe (source: APEAL, 2008), and one of Empac’s main commitments is to continue building upon this record rate. Metal cans have unique benefits, being 100% recyclable an infinite number of times without loss of their essential properties. In fact, metal cans, like all metal products, once produced, are a permanent asset for society. Additionally, due to their barrier properties, they positively contribute to a reduction in food waste.

Today in Europe, metal packaging achieves recycling rates of more than 90% in Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium, and more than 80% in Switzerland and Austria. Through its participation in the global Canvironment week, Empac aims to raise awareness with stakeholders, retailers, customers and consumers about the difference between recyclable and recycled and what is actually achievable through the recycling of metal and the benefits this has for society.

Canvironment week will take place from 10 to 17 November 2010 and now involves canmakers from the five continents, each taking initiatives or engaging in activities that promote metal packaging. The initiative was launched by Hindustan Tin Works Ltd, India’s leading can manufacturer.

"For Empac, it is an honour to join with other nations and other canmakers across the globe to celebrate Canvironment week. This is an excellent initiative, and the positive response by so many companies is encouraging. Our industry is speaking with one voice," said Gordon Shade, CEO Empac.

The Canvironment initiative ties in with the celebration of metal packaging’s 200 year anniversary this year, which pays tribute to the father of canning, Nicholas Appert. To mark this, Empac has launched a competition calling on students across Europe to come up with innovations for further increasing the sustainability profile of metal cans. The winning student or team of students will be announced during Interpack 2011 and will be awarded a €10,000 prize.

Empac this year also announced its interactive scorecard which calculates the carbon footprint of its members’ metal packaging products. Using a life cycle analysis approach, the interactive scorecard tracks carbon emissions throughout the entire production process of the metal can, from the mining of raw materials through to the manufacture of cans and their delivery to customers.

"As the overarching association for non-beverage metal packaging in Europe, Empac’s support provides a very important pillar for the Canvironment initiative in Europe. Empac has a strong voice in Europe and this collaboration will help give Canvironment week an even more global impact," says Atit Bhatia of Sr. Vice President of Hindustan Tin and the President of Canvironment Week.

Empac is tasked with defending and promoting the rigid metal packaging industry in Europe by communicating on the sustainability and the many unique advantages of metal packaging. The organisation provides information and support to its members and regulatory bodies in the European Union and disseminates best manufacturing practice and guidelines through technical committees comprising acknowledged experts in their field.

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