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At the EuroBLECH trade fair, Schuler will demonstrate solutions for digitalization and networking on its new MSP 400 servo press Simon Scherrenbacher, Integrated Communications for Schuler reports:

Extrusion rather than remelt a better alu recycle option

Research in Penn state's Lehigh Institute and the Technical University (TU) of Dortmund in Germany shows that repeated remelt of recycled aluminium can reduce its strength and ductility. Hence extrusion is found to be a better recycle option...Read more...

France banned BPA in 2012...others follow
Latest 2018 report on the demise of BPA coatings..

All canned foods and drinks face a potential wind of change. Because regulators are looking into the possible health risks of low level contamination from the epoxy based coatings used in billions of food and beverage cans the canning industry faces a massive challenge. Even though there is limited evidence that the infinitely low levels of Bisphenol A (BPA) arising from can coatings need concern consumers, France has jumped the gun on an EU study into whether BPA contamination merits changes in the current allowable limits. The French Senate has adopted a law that will ban the use of BPA in food contact applications from 2015. Their Social Affairs Committee passed a bill to suspend the manufacture, import, export and placing on the market of any food packaging containing Bisphenol A (BPA). And it is not just the canners who may have to radically rethink their products. Microwave pouches are known to allow the migration of chemicals if they are overheated. BPA is a one of the world's highest production-volume chemicals.

"The Japanese industry voluntarily removed BPA from can linings 10 years ago and thus, were able to reduce exposure to BPA by 50 percent," says Prof Frederick vom Saal Professor of Biological Sciences at Missouri University. The consumer could suffer as a result of the industry shake-up in terms of potentially shorter shelf lives for canned goods should the EU and USA food safety bodies follow the French. Behind the scenes researchers are desperately trying to formulate coatings that can maintain the excellent shelf life of cans but with lower levels of BPA. In the US and Europe BPA is already banned from baby bottles and other items used by infants, but it is regarded as safe at the minimal levels caused via can coatings. And current coatings are perfect for preserving food and granting very long shelf lives.

Steve Pagani from the European Food Safety Authority said: "EFSA is undertaking a full re-evaluation of the human risks associated with exposure to BPA through the diet, also taking into consideration the contribution of non-dietary sources to the overall exposure to BPA, which will be due around May 2013." EFSA provides scientific advice to the risk managers, such as the European Commission or a national government, and then it is up to them to decide if regulations need changing, he said.

Canning has been a great success story for preserving and distributing our food. But the industry is facing huge and costly problems because of the time it takes to test and get approval for new alternative coatings. One of the largest producers of can coatings, Akzo Nobel has been busy preparing for this problem. Jeroen Pul, Communications Manager told "Regarding your question on potential future changes in legislation, AkzoNobel's Packaging Coatings business operates with the highest degree of concern for the safety and health of its customers, its employees and the consumers who are the end users of its products. We are monitoring the research and regulatory developments relating to BPA. We will continue to take our guidance on this issue from national and international regulatory authorities and to take whatever steps are necessary, based on sound scientific principles, to ensure that any package technology is safe for the consumer. "Despite continued approval for the use of coatings containing BPA to line food and beverage containers, AkzoNobel is responding to market forces with an intense effort to develop packaging coatings without using Bisphenol-A. Our research and development group has a significant annual budget dedicated to this initiative. The process is time consuming as substitutes must be tested to establish that each potential alternative is effective for the requisite extended shelf life for canned food and does not present an adverse health risk. In short, we are and will continue working together with our customers in the packaging industry to ensure them with coatings solutions that meet all regulatory requirements."
Jan 25 2013:A California environmental agency announced it intends to add bisphenol A (BPA) to a list of chemicals known to cause cancer or reproductive harm.Read on....

One industry expert's view...

EMPAC statement on the European view on BPA

Updates on BPA on Wikipedia

How Thin can we Go?

Is downsizing reaching the point of no marginal gain in the
great scheme of things,,,,,,,
Thin-walled containers certainly pay-off in terms of lighter containers•Less material•New / different materials•Less material cost•Less recycling cost•Higher sustainability•Acceptance by retailers.
But as downsizing experts Mall and Herlan say; to achieve the thinner gauges you need: Stronger material• the Material can be more difficult to deform•Complex necking is required•Skilled people required•Sophisticated machines required• and hence Higher investment...

So the canmakers and their machine makers have to juggle this see saw between what the customer would like and what investments in machinery and input costs are needed to gain those thinner walls....

Art of the Can goes Global

The Art of Can in 2011:

Don't those PET water bottles deserve consigning to history....
We are pleased to promote this bit of common sense....
It seems like madness the effort expended in selling bottled water. Western nations spend $millions providing quality drinking water to its people. Yet recent decades have seen lorries trundling hither and thither carting plastic bottled water to supermarket aisles. For all those Global Warming pundits this is even more a scene of mass craziness. Anyway one group has started to make an effort to slow the madness. The movement certainly seems to us to be worth consideration.

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