Steel – the 100% Sustainable Packaging Choice

steel recyclingSteel is the best choice when developing sustainable packaging. We do the heavy lifting for you when it comes to providing you with a package that is #1 in sustainability. Decorative tins made from tin-plated steel recycle forever without loss of quality. Each can contains between 25 and 60% recycled materials. Steel recycling has hit an all-time high, world wide according to World Steel Association.

  • Around 90% of water used in the steel industry is cleaned, cooled and returned to source. Most of the loss is due to evaporation. Water returned to rivers and other sources is often cleaner than when extracted.
  • The energy used to produce a tonne of steel has been reduced by 60% in the last 50 years.
  • Steel is the most recycled material in the world, with over 650 mega ton recycled annually.
  • The recovery and use of steel industry by-products has reached a worldwide material efficiency rate of 96%.
  • Steel is the main material used in delivering renewable energy: solar, tidal and wind.


We do our part:

sustainable packagingWe at Independent Can diligently commit to a clean, environmentally conscious operation. We measure and document our efforts in sustainability and recycling. The company’s “Green Committee” was established in March of 2008 with the mission of defining and implementing best practices company-wide. The team put in place a measurable agenda and educated our workforce. We consistently note improvement from year to year in our recycling totals for steel, plastic, aluminum, corrugated, mixed paper and energy efficiency.

We have installed the most energy saving coater ovens in the world. We have also overhauled an existing coater oven allowing for a 20+% increase in through-put and a 30% reduction of energy required utilizing the latest technology and environmental systems. Our printing lines achieve the same vibrant images using less ink. Even more energy is saved with ultraviolet curing.

Our facilities are equipped with energy-efficient heating, cooling and motion-activated lighting. Our facility in Ft. Madison, IA uses geothermal heating.


Why Choose Steel?

It is #1 in Sustainability!

No packaging can match the sustainability of steel. Because of their beauty and reusability, tins are rarely thrown away. They are collected, refilled or displayed in homes and establishments. They are part of the gift and require no secondary recyclingpackaging. If a tin package ever does make it to the landfill, it will eventually biodegrade.

Most other materials have an extended life cycle with the second “life” being the last. Don’t let their green claims fool you. The trip to the landfill is only postponed.



Quick Facts:

  • Recycling steel uses 74% less energy than making new
  • Every can that you buy is at least 25% recycled steel and up to 60%
  • Steel can be easily separated from other waste with a magnet
  • There are more than 2000 scrap steel processors in the US
  • Every 2,000 lbs. of recycled steel saves 2,500 lbs. of iron ore, 1400 lbs. of coal and 120 lbs. of limestone

  • Each year, more steel is recycled than glass, paper, aluminum and plastic combined

sustainable packaging


Steel Life Cycle


• Scrap steel is bundled and taken to a recycling center. • It is melted down and the impurities are burned off. • If the steel is destined to become a can again instead of one of the many other uses for steel, molten steel is poured and rolled into a thing sheet. • It is coated with tin to retard rust and rolled into a coil. • The coil is cut into sheets of steel and the process of can making begins again.

Custom tin containers for coffee, tea and other consumables extend shelf life and eliminate the need for plastic valves and liners which are less recyclable.



MD Green Registry

Independent Can was one of the first companies to be a part of Maryland’s registry of green companies.

Maryland Green Registry Web Site


For more information on steel recycling visit:

For more detail on the environmental initiatives at Independent Can, contact us.