Sustainability a uniting factor for can manufacturing

Dec 01, 2010 | 04:19 AM |

For industry insiders who promote cans for food and beverages, sustainability has always been the name of the game.

"It's always around us, but we didn't have a label for it," said Gregory L. Crawford, vice president of operations at the Steel Recycling Institute (SRI), Pittsburgh. "The steel food can is in it for the long haul. It's been quietly doing its job for many years. It's not flashy, not glamorous, but it has been enduring."

Each steel can contains a minimum of 25-percent recycled content and is endlessly recyclable into new cans, vehicles, appliances, bridges or any other steel product without a loss of strength or quality, according to the Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI), a business unit of the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI).

Likewise, aluminum cans go full circle—from being a can back to being a can—in less than 60 days. "From the refrigerator, to the recycle bin, melted back down to an aluminum ingot, made into can sheet, made into a can and back into the refrigerator," said Kevin Lowry, director of corporate communications at aluminum manufacturer Alcoa Inc. "The aluminum can is the ultimate sustainable package."....

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