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Products and solutions, 2001-04-23, 02:00 AM

Conserving resources through innovation: Weight reductions in drinks cans

Tinplate has innovation potential. Project teams at tinplate producers and processors are constantly working with the drinks and food industries to develop new packaging solutions. New technologies such as shaping and embossing allow innovative can designs which stand out on the supermarket shelves.

Another aspect of central importance is the development of even lighter packaging. The wall of a 425 milliliter food can is now just 0.14 mm thick, which means around 30 percent less material is used today than was needed in the seventies.

Drinks cans, too, are constantly getting lighter. Drinks cans today can be produced with walls just eight hundredths of a millimeter thick - less than a hair`s breadth. The continuous reduction in tinplate thickness offers more than just economic advantages. The material saving and resultant conservation of resources also enhance the ecological properties of tinplate. In the German beverage can industry, for example, energy consumption has been reduced by 40 percent since 1990. This success was made possible by the reduction in can weight by more than 30 percent and a doubling of the tinplate recycling rate to 80 percent.

The slight additional improvement which could be achieved with the deposit system currently under discussion would not justify the necessary DM3 - 4 billion investment in machines for taking back "empties".

For further reference: Informations-Zentrum Weißblech e.V.,
Daniela Dühr / Astrid Goldberg,
Tel.: (02 11) 3 86 59-21/-16, Fax: (02 11) 3 86 59-24
E-Mail: duehr@izw.de, goldberg@izw.de

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