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  • #ProtactPromise – improved sustainability

    1 Aug 2017 | Trade News

    With environmental legislation and demand from retailers, canmakers are under increasing pressure to deliver efficient and highly sustainable packaging materials.


    Against this backdrop Tata Steel developed Protact® laminated steel for two-piece, and now three-piece, can manufacturers, offering a packaging material that marries high productivity with rigourous environmental credentials.


    Increased production

    Our specialist production line at Duffel in Belgium now processes Protact for three-piece can manufacturing, as well as two-piece – an exciting new development. This allows three-piece canmakers to enjoy the benefits of Protact’s multi-layered polymer coating system designed to free capacity and simplify the canmaking process, by removing obsolete lacquering operations.

    With a more efficient production line, manufacturers can increase their output to meet market demand and now Protact is under development for full draw and wall ironed (DWI) width, 1220mm, which can increase outputs by ten to 15 per cent.


    Improved environmental footprint

    Environmental legislation has led to strict allowances for volatile organic compound (VOCs) emissions associated with the use of lacquers on metal packaging. And there’s no indication that VOC allowances and usage levels won’t continue to dominate the spotlight as the EU’s Best Available Techniques Reference Document is expected to be updated this April.

    Using Protact for two-piece and three-piece DWI cans reduces the need for lacquer-related operations, including the washcoat, spraying and curing stages. This radically lowers energy consumption and CO2 emissions from gas-fired ovens used during standard canmaking practices.

    It also means that VOCs are eliminated from the canmaking process and consequently the machinery needed for VOC removal is no longer required. Switching to Protact now safeguards against further tightening of VOC-related legislation and the costs that this could entail.

    Protact can also be used in both wet or dry can-making processes. In a dry process, there is no requirement for an emulsion application and subsequent can washing, so reducing water used throughout the production line.  And as well as reducing water consumption, Protact allows canmakers to dispense with water treatment facilities – another cost saving.


    A permanently available material

    Protact, as a steel product, is made from a 100 per cent, permanently available material. This means that it can be infinitely recycled, with no loss of quality. Despite its lamination, the material does not require any special separation techniques before it enters the reuse cycle.

    Steel is the most recycled packaging material, in 2015 over 77.5 per cent was recycled in Europe. View APEAL’s ‘Permanently Available Material’ video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yye3xh2oSCc


    Don’t forget, for the latest Tata Steel Packaging news, you can follow our new Linkedin page here or to find out more about Protact, you can email us.


    This article first appeared on the LinkedIn blog of Steven Dijkstra, Head of Marketing Packaging & Nordics at Tata Steel in Europe.