Packaging products supplier Crown has announced in its 2013 Sustainability Report that more than 1.3 million tonnes of tinplate steel were recycled in 2012.
The new report highlights the environmental benefits of steel food cans, further focuses on steel's sustainability profile and says that a package made of recycled steel reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 75% compared with a steel package.
According to the Steel Recycling Institute, each tonne of recycled steel saves 2,500lb of iron ore, 1,400lb of coal and 120lb of limestone.
Crown Food Packaging North America marketing manager Hella Gourven said: "In addition to being 100% recyclable, steel can be used again and again with no loss in performance or quality, which contributes to the high recycling rate of steel food cans.
"The European Union (EU) recently listed metal as a permanent resource in new legislation, recognising that steel cans never need to be downgraded to less demanding uses after recycling."
Crown also reports on its role as an environmental leader in the food packaging industry, highlighting its support of the 'Cans Get You Cooking' campaign and the launch of the first annual Sustainability Awards in 2012.
The report, which reflects the fiscal years 2011 and 2012, also notes new advances in lightweighting and includes third-party industry figures, as well as internal data showing progress across key metrics.
The company's new resilient rail technology for food cans allows thinner gauge metal to be used in the can without impacting performance, Crown said.
Steel packaging, which weighs 40% less at present than it did 30 years ago, allows the company to produce more food cans and ends with less material and more efficient use of resources, Crown added.
Image: Each tonne of recycled steel saves 2,500lb of iron ore. Photo: courtesy of Keerati / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.