Steel cans helping to reduce food waste
Unlike other packaging materials, steel cans are impact and puncture resistant, and virtually unbreakable. Steel packaging also provides an impenetrable barrier to light, moisture, and air, ensuring the canned food remains highly nutritious for years. And best of all, steel cans provide energy-free storage as no refrigeration is needed.
The advantages of steel packaging don’t end when the can is empty. Steel packaging is very easy to recycle as it can be extracted from the waste stream using a simple magnet. That’s one of the main reasons why steel is the most recycled packaging material in Europe. In 2015, the latest year for which data is available, 77.5 percent of steel packaging was recycled in Europe. [source: APEAL]
Nutrients per 200 grams of canned food (blue) compared to fresh (green)
[Data source: SGS Fresenius Institute, Berlin. Graph used courtesy APEAL.]
Food packaged in steel cans has higher nutritional values than ‘fresh’ food because the time between harvesting and canning is often less than three hours. By contrast, fresh food takes much longer to reach your local supermarket, by which time its nutrients have already started to break down. And with steel packaging there is no waste – even misshapen or ‘ugly’ fruit and vegetables are suitable for canning.
Canning and consuming more food in steel packaging could help to cut food waste significantly. Currently 28 percent of farmland is used to grow food which will be thrown away. In the European Union alone, that equates to 88 million tonnes of food which could be canned and made available to feed the world’s ever-growing population.
ArcelorMittal produces a full range of packaging steels which are used to create welded and drawn cans, easy-open-ends, tab stock, and microwavable trays which can go direct from the supermarket to the table. For more info on ArcelorMittal’s full offer of steels for food packaging visit: