Metal has long been viewed as a packaging format with exceptional sustainability credentials.
The raw material used to make metal containers – aluminum or steel – are produced from some of the most abundant elements on earth, and for years metal has enjoyed the most robust global recycling infrastructure of any packaging material because it is infinitely and 100 percent recyclable. The following video by the Metal Packaging Manufacturers Association in the UK gives a brief description of how metal recycles forever.
Still, when it comes to sustainability, these facts tell just half the story. To understand the true scope of packaging sustainability, you need to consider the multiple stages in the life cycle of a product. Consider it a full circle of sustainability, in which package manufacturing leads to an extended product shelf-life, to package recycling and back to package manufacturing.
Here are just a few examples of how metal makes a difference: