ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products

Online client newsletter | March 2020

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Best for planet

Bonduelle sets ambitious sustainability target – and packaging steels play an important role

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Bonduelle is one of the world’s leading producers of plant-based food. Canned products accounted for 46 percent of the company’s packaging materials by tonnage in 2018-19. Packaging materials are at the heart of Bonduelle’s approach to corporate social responsibility (CSR). The company has set itself the ambition of designing its packaging to be 100% recyclable or reusable by 2025. Achieving this goal requires new initiatives from packaging suppliers – and a change in consumer perceptions. And ArcelorMittal is up to the challenge.

Bonduelle processes fresh vegetables within half a day of harvest to preserve their qualities

One of the key challenges for Bonduelle is coping with the massive volume of fresh food it receives at the peak of the season. “Steel cans fit this process,” notes Arnaud Warusfel, packaging development manager for Bonduelle Europe Long Life. “For example, we need to sterilise a lot of cans in a very short time. Steel cans offer rapidity and strength at every step of the process.”
“The canned foods are stored at room temperature, so they no longer consume energy,” says Arnaud Warusfel. “And there is no need to expend energy chilling them during transport, on the shelf, or in the consumer’s home.”

Bonduelle actively promotes the infinite recyclability of cans

25 percent weight reduction possible

With sustainability a key concern for consumers, Bonduelle has set ambitious targets to reduce the weight and thickness of the steel it uses in its cans. “We’ve been working with our can suppliers to reduce the weight of our metallic cans while maintaining the right performance for our processes,” explains Arnaud Warusfel.

ArcelorMittal offers a range of thin-gauge high-strength steels for packaging which can withstand the rigours of the packaging process. “Using our packaging steels, an average three-piece vegetable can (diameter 73 mm, volume 425 ml) could be made 10 percent lighter, while the weight of pressurised DWI cans could be reduced by up to 25 percent compared to a standard can,” says Stéphane Tondo, CMO for packaging and electrical steels at ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products.

ArcelorMittal’s packaging steels allow canmakers to reduce the weight of vegetable steel cans

Cans preserve the freshness of food at ambient temperature

Getting the eco message to consumers

A recent survey by Bonduelle in the Benelux found that only 35 percent of consumers understand that steel cans are endlessly recyclable. “Yet the recycling level of steel packaging in Europe reached 80.5 percent in 2017 according to figures issued by the Association of European Producers of Steel for Packaging (APEAL),” says Arnaud Warusfel. “In the Netherlands, they achieve a recycling rate of 96 percent, so we know there’s room for improvement in the rest of Europe.”

To get the message to its customers, Bonduelle has taken part in several education initiatives. For example, Bonduelle Europe Long Life decided to promote the endless recyclability of cans to consumers by including the ‘Metal recycles forever’ label on all their cans.

While there are still challenges ahead, Arnaud Warusfel recognises that steels for packaging are important: “Steel cans have a long shelf life, they are affordable, and they maintain the freshness of the vegetable throughout the year, not just at harvest time. They are a great solution for us, and our consumers.”

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