Steel – the 100% Sustainable Packaging Choice

  • Approximately 95% 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 ton of steel has been reduced by 60% in the last 50 years.
  • Over 650 million tons of steel is recycled each year in North America.
  • Gases produced in the steelmaking process are recycled into the system to heat up the furnace, reducing the need for additional energy.
  • 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.

choose tin packaging

We Do Our Part

We 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 also uses geothermal heating.

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 thin 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.


You can also download our whitepaper on sustainability for statistics and facts regarding sustainability efforts in our company, the steel and steel can industries and recycling.




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.