Our Primary Product

Sustainable to the Core

Metal is central to our business – and to our sustainability story. Its inherent properties, including its strength, recyclability and elemental nature help us excel across all three dimensions of sustainability.

From every angle, our primary materials – steel (formed from iron) and aluminum – are naturally circular. At their origin, they respectively represent more than 5% and 8% of the earth’s crust, ranking them among the most abundant resources in the world. As elements, metals are also infinitely recyclable with zero loss of properties, ensuring they will never be taken for granted but instead be used for valuable innovation time and time again.

Champion of the Circular Economy

The metal packaging industry is a perfect example of the circular economy at work. As a permanent, highly recyclable material, the resources utilized in metal manufacturing continue to be reinvested in the production of new metal products, including cans.

Permanent Material


Metal is a permanent material recognized by Standard BSI 8905:2011—its inherent properties don’t change during use or repeated recycling. In fact, 80% of all metals produced are still available today. 12 13

Metal can be recycled infinitely in a closed material-to-material loop. 14

  1. Source: Metal Packaging Europe
  2. Source: Metal Packaging Europe
  3. Source: Metal Packaging Europe

Zero Waste

  • No metal scrap created throughout the production process goes to waste, with any leftover materials simply recycled back into production.

Infinitely Recyclable

Metal can be recycled infinitely in a closed material-to-material loop. In fact, it is possible for recycled beverage cans to return to store shelves – as new beverage cans – in as little as 60 days. 15

  1. Source: Can Manufacturers Institute

Protector of Products and Consumers

Metal packaging protects products across the distribution chain, ensuring goods reach consumers in peak condition. By safeguarding critical characteristics such as taste, quality and functionality, the material fosters brand differentiation and builds trust through reliability. Metal packaging’s superior strength, durability and barrier properties help reduce waste and support healthy, nutritious diets.

Workers in field

Combats food waste

  • Metal packaging serves as an unbeatable barrier to the intrusion of oxygen, light and bacteria, extending the shelf life of products and preventing premature spoilage.
  • Optimized sizes, whether fit for family dinner recipes or for individual portions, help to reduce food wastage by consumers.
  • Each year, roughly one third of the food produced globally — approximately 1.3 billion metric tons — is lost or wasted.16
  • Food losses and waste cost about US$680 billion in industrialized countries and US$310 billion in developing countries.17
  • If food waste was considered a country, it would be the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases worldwide, after only China and the U.S.18
Overhead field shot

Makes healthy foods more accessible

  • Canned produce is picked and packed within hours of harvesting, locking in freshness and nutrients. Fresh produce, in contrast, loses nutrients from the moment it is picked, throughout transportation and refrigeration, until the moment of consumption.
  • Dependable seal locks in freshness without the need for preservatives, supporting organic and more natural, healthy foods.
  • Ready-to-eat nature of canned foods enables busy consumers to prepare nutritious meals quickly.
  • Cans make the important food groups of fruit and vegetables more accessible. In the U.S., for example, consumers who consume canned foods have more fruit and vegetables in their diets than the average American.19

Supports Food Safety

  • Metal packaging has an unprecedented food safety record due to the high temperatures of retort cooking, which effectively sterilizes the food in cans.
  • Cans offer 100% contamination protection, an important responsibility when foodborne illness reportedly costs Americans $15.6 billion annually.20
  • Tamper-proof and tamper-resistant features indicate when a package has been compromised and help consumers feel confident about the quality and safety of their food products.
  1. Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
  2. Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
  3. Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, “Food Wastage Footprint: Impacts on Natural Resources” © FAO 2013
  4. Source: Can Manufacturers Institute
  5. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Tons of Food Loss

1.3b Metric Tons

Each year, roughly one third of the food produced globally — approximately 1.3 billion metric tons — is lost or wasted.

Cost of Food Losses and Waste

Industrialized Countries US $640 billion
Developing Countries US $310 billion

Food losses and waste cost about US $680 billion in industrialized countries and US $310 billion in developing countries

Agent of Material Stewardship

The average recycled content for aluminum cans produced in the U.S. is 73%. 24

Aluminum Recycling Rates 21 22 23

49.8% US aluminum recycling rate 63.6% US aluminum industry recycling rate 74.5% Europe aluminum recycling rate
  1. Source: The Aluminum Association
  2. Source: The Aluminum Association
  3. Source: European Aluminium Association
  4. Source: Can Manufacturers Institute
Two workers pulling bins of recycling

Steel Recycling Rates 25 26

70% US steel recycling rate 80.5% Europe steel recycling rate
  1. Source: Steel Recycling Institute
  2. Source: APEAL

Recycling steel saves up to 75% of the energy used to produce virgin steel 27

Steel can used as a plant holder

Recycling aluminum saves up to 95% of the energy used to produce virgin aluminum. 28

Recycling metal minimizes the use of Earth’s resources and the level of greenhouse gas emissions used in subsequent production.

Enables reductions in energy consumption:

  • The energy saved by recycling 100% of aluminum cans could power four million homes for a full year, 29 and the energy saved by recycling steel could power 20 million homes for a year. 30
  • Each item of recycled steel packaging saves over one and a half times its weight in CO2. In 2017, over 2.8 million metric tons of packaging steel was recycled in Europe, saving over four million metric tons of CO2. 31
  • Recycling one ton of steel cans conserves one ton of iron ore, 1,400 pounds of coal and 120 pounds of limestone. Recycling one ton of aluminum cans conserves the equivalent of 21 barrels of oil. 32
  • Metal cans are easily stackable and allow more units to ship in one truckload, reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Once in the store, unlike the frozen and refrigerated products that require energy-intensive cold chain distribution, shelf-stable cans do not require a constant source of power to maintain quality and safety.
  • Fresh food transportation uses twice as much energy as the transportation of canned food while nearly three times more energy is used to transport and store frozen produce than is needed for cans. 33

Encourages recycling and upcycling:

  • Consumers are highly aware of metal’s recyclability and consistently contribute to its collection, recycling more aluminum cans than any other beverage container.
  • Changing packaging waste legislation in the EU does not affect metal, which has always been able to claim “Real Recycling.” 34
  • Magnetic properties and easy separation make steel the easiest and most economic packaging material to sort, recover and recycle. 35
  • Consumers often upcycle and reuse metal packaging in their homes, maintaining brand promotion for much longer than the immediate product life.
  1. Source: Environmental Protection Agency
  2. Source: Metal Packaging Europe
  3. Source: The Aluminum Association
  4. Source: Steel Recycling Institute
  5. Source: APEAL
  6. Source: Steel Recycling Institute
  7. Source: “Effects of Metal Packaging on Energy and Food Waste” – University of Delaware and CROWN Packaging Technology
  8. Source: APEAL
  9. Source: APEAL

Investor in the Economy

With high market value, impressive inherent properties and design flexibility, metal helps support the health of the manufacturing and farming industries.

Dubai group photo in front of building

Creates new job opportunities

More than 160,000 workers are directly employed in the U.S. aluminum industry and for each job, approximately 3.3 employment positions are created elsewhere.36

  1. Source: The Aluminum Association
Turkey, three men looking at easel

Reduces loss of farmed product

Canned produce moves from the field to the package within 4.5 hours, much faster than the 24 days it takes for fresh produce to make the same journey, helping to maximize the amount of product farmers can sell and support the health of the farming industry.

“Flawed” produce can be used for chopped fruit and vegetable products, minimizing food loss, food waste and encouraging greater use of crops.

Sisa group photo

Reinvests in the industry

The infinite recyclability of metal packaging allows the industry to maintain production without requiring additional supply.

Aluminum contains tremendous market value at over $1,300 per ton, serving as one of the only materials in the consumer disposal stream that more than pays for the cost of its own collection.37

Americans alone have earned $25 billion through recycling aluminum beverage cans since 1976.

  1. Source: The Aluminum Association
Teacher and students

Continues to drive innovation to stimulate purchases

Advancements for the beverage can, like the 360 End®, allow businesses to offer fully branded, yet eco-friendly alternatives to plastic cups, as well as enhance the consumer experience and retain market share.

Innovations in food cans such as Peelfit™ and Easylift® ends breathe new life into canned products, providing convenience and functionality that translate to added value for consumers.

The 360-degree billboard surface of beverage cans allow for eye-catching branding and messaging that encourages consumer engagement and purchases. The inks and finishes used for decoration do not detract from the recyclability of the cans, but in fact help to fuel the process.