Metal Packaging Europe (MPE), unveiled at the Interpack trade show earlier this month, aims to give a single voice to producers and suppliers of metal packaging in the region.
It brings together packaging manufacturers, metal producers and established trade bodies such as EAA, EMPAC APEL and BCME.
The unified group, which was set up by chief executives from aluminium, steel and packaging converter companies, said it will seek “to address the social, environmental and policy challenges faced by the industry”.
MPE secretary general Anders Linde told FoodProductionDaily.com there had previously been close connections between individual metal packaging groups but only on an ad hoc basis.
“There was also some tension between steel and aluminium associations,” he added. “But we saw the policy agenda on issues like waste management and recycling and we believed the time was now right and the momentum was there to influence policy around these issues.”
The formation of the new body would allow the industry to speak with a stronger more unified voice, said the secretary general.
The body set out a number of measures in its manifesto around sustainability and the responsible use of resources.
Highlighting the reusability of its materials, the association vowed to increase industry recycling rates from the average European rate of 70 per cent to 80 per cent by 2020.
It said its vision was that no metal packaging should go to landfill and that its members had already put into place “significant projects to ensure the availability of metal as a permanent resource”.
Aluminium and steel players had made eco-commitments through projects such as the Ultra Low Carbon Steel initiative (ULCOS) and the Global Aluminium Industry Sustainability Scorecard.
It added: “We have come together as Metal Packaging Europe because as a unified sector we will contribute more to this vision than we can individually.”
Chris Homfray, Chairman of the body and president of Crown Europe, said: “Metal Packaging Europe is perfectly positioned to reinforce these benefits across the whole supply chain, addressing current and future concerns around the environment and ever more complex regulations.”
Linde revealed he had just returned from a summit in the California with metal packaging players from the US, Australia and South America. Discussion centred on the possability of setting up similar organisations across the globe, he said.