Setting the standard for sustainable solutions.

Steel food cans are the most recycled food package in the U.S. and steel is the most recycled material in the world.

Sustainability at Silgan Containers encompasses ability to continually identify and meet the changing needs of our customers, ensuring the long-term success of our company and business partners.

By focusing on the sustainability of our products and operations,
we seek to strengthen our standing as a market leader and trusted partner.


While our packages protect and preserve our customers’ products, thanks to their 100% recyclability they are also helping to minimize our impact on the environment.

80–90% of all steel ever produced is still in use today (World Steel, 2011).
Steel cans have up to 35% recycled content.
Steel cans have a 71% recycling rate, which is the highest of any food package.
Nearly 75% of all aluminum ever produced is still in use today.
In today’s environmentally aware marketplace, choosing packaging formats with clear sustainability credentials enables you to minimize resources, thereby reducing costs and delivering a competitive advantage for your company.

How recycling steel saves

Saves natural resources
Every ton of recycled steel saves 3,600 pounds of CO2, 2,500 pounds of iron ore, 1,400 pounds of coal and 120 pounds of limestone.
Saves energy
Recycling one ton of aluminum conserves more than 207 million BTUs – the equivalent of 36 barrels of oil or 1,665 gallons of gasoline.
Reduces waste
Making new steel products from recycled steel reduces water use by 40%, water pollution by 76%, air pollution by 86% and mining waste by 97%.
Source: Steel Recycling Institute

Efficient Operations

Solutions for today, protection for tomorrow.

Our partners’ success relies on our ability to operate efficiently and effectively. Lean production processes work to reduce energy and resource consumption, greenhouse gas emission and waste generation.

Between 2000 and 2012, Silgan Containers reduced Hazardous Air Pollutant (HAP) emissions by 76%.
Silgan is converting from wood to plastic pallets made of recycled materials, saving the equivalent of 133,164 trees spanning across 3,329 acres.
Silgan Containers' manufacturing plants utilize high energy efficient light systems. The estimated energy conserved in just one year is equivalent to planting 1,476 acres of trees, or removing 1,161 cars from the road or saving 523,000 gallons of gas.
Silgan Containers backs The Recycling Partnership – a community-based recycling program, to further increase an already impressive recycling participation. Since the inception of this program, there has been a 22% average increase in overall recycling volume in 40 partner communities.
Silgan Containers has reduced Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) emissions by 46.5% since 2000.
Between 2012 and 2014, Silgan has spent $2 millions on lighting projects that are estimated to save up to 45% in kilowatt hours where new lighting systems have been installed.

Benefitting from Efficiencies in the Supply Chain

Easy handling, fast filling with low spoilage makes cans a natural choice for streamlined, cost-efficient production and reliable distribution.

Less energy
1 plug

Food cans require up to 70% less energy throughout the supply chain compared to refrigerated and frozen foods.

Stock up
2 red-can

Canned foods’ long shelf-life and preserved taste let consumers stock up and stay supplied.

Reduced emissions
3 red-tree

CO2 emissions from food canning can be 28% less than by freezing in plastic bags.

Less secondary packaging
4 red-can-box

Cans require significantly less secondary packaging than alternative packages because of their inherent strength.

Storage benefits
5 triangle-can

In the retail environment, steel packaging can be easily stored, handled and stacked. It is virtually impossible to spill or break.

Lower transportation costs
6 red-truck

Silgan has 29 manufacturing facilities throughout the United States, which allows for significant savings in transportation costs.

Helping to alleviate world hunger


By 2050, global population is projected to rise from the 2012 level of more than 7 billion to as many as 10.9 billion people.

Unfortunately, a large percentage of the world’s food supply fills our dumpsites instead of our stomachs. With a growing number of people suffering from hunger worldwide and an alarming amount of food waste, we all need to do our part to solve this problem.

40% of food in the United States is lost to waste.

Every day, vast quantities of food are damaged or spoiled during transport, at retail stores and in homes. Improving a product’s packaging could significantly reduce the amount of food that is wasted each year around the globe.

Because food lasts longer in metal containers and can be used as needed, there is considerably less waste associated with canned foods.

Educational Resources

Valuable information on recycling, metal packaging sustainability and the steel industry.

Silgan is dedicated to raising awareness of recycling and sustainability within the industry. We connect people to educational, environmental and recycling resources, showing them how they can join us in the fight to spread environmental awareness and help save our planet.

View Video

How Is Steel Made?

Learn about the two different processes steelmaking facilities employ: The basic oxygen furnace (BOF) process uses 25–35% old steel (scrap) to make new steel.

Credit: Acelon Mittal

Download pdf and web links

Recycling Facts by the Numbers


Get facts, information and statistics about steel food cans, America’s most recycled packaging solution.

View pdf

Why Metal Cans are the Sustainable Solution


Metal cans are produced with abundant and recycled materials, minimizing the depletion of natural resources. Steel and aluminum cans are the nation’s most recycled food and beverage containers. The result of all that recycling? Less pollution, reduced costs and a steady supply of resources for years to come—the very definition of sustainability.

View pdf

Retailers & Sustainable Packaging


Retailers see growing demand for Sustainable Packaging.

View pdf

Cans in the Classroom


Review a detailed visual and written description of "The Life Cycle of a Can".

View pdf

Steel Recycling Life Cycle


Recycle Our Steel, Conserve Our Environment ROSCOE. Explore an easy-to-follow factsheet and the life cycle of a steel product.

View pdf

Life Cycle of the Aluminum Can


View a step-by-step visual breakdown and description of life cycle of the infinitely recyclable aluminum can.

View pdf

AISI Briefing on Sustainability of Steel Packaging


Learn how steel cans offer a more energy efficient solution compared to alternative forms of packaging.

View pdf

Life Cycle Analysis of Canned Green Beans


See how canning green beans has nearly 39% less climate change impact compared to packaging green beans in other packaging types.

View pdf

Sustainability of Steel


Discover an informative document describing how recycling in the steel industry has been second nature for more than 170 years.

View pdf

Inherent Recycled Content of Today's Steel


Learn more about the recycling practices built into the steel production process.

View pdf

What Type of Aluminum Can I Recycle?


This guideline defines what types of aluminum products can be recycled.

View pdf

Aluminate-Recycling iPhone Application


Keep track of your aluminum recycling efforts, locate the nearest aluminum recycling center and find out how much that center pays for recycled aluminum.

View website

Can Manufacturers Institute


Search the many programs and resources for recycling aluminum and steel cans offered by the U.S. can industry.

View website