The Most Recycled Food Packaging in the World

Steel cans are the most recycled food package in the world, giving steel an important role in providing sustainable packaging for foods that carry important nutrients essential to a healthy diet. Steel recycling starts in the home. Americans use 100 million steel cans each day. During that same day, more than 67 million cans are recycled by steel companies throughout North America.

We rely on steel packaging for our food to be in durable, tamper resistant containers. You may not realize it, but you probably use at least one steel can every day. You may hear them called tin cans, metal cans or aluminum cans but most food cans are truly made of steel. Steel cans package a variety of products, including fruits, vegetables, soups, sauces, and meats. Steel cans are also something else—recyclable.

Canned Food Programs

The Canned Food Alliance (CFA) is a consortium of steelmakers, can makers, food processors and affiliate members that have joined together to communicate the many benefits of canned foods, including nutrition, convenience, affordability, year-round availability and sustainability.

Group of steel cans

Latest Research

The Canned Food Alliance is committed to providing professionals–both dietary and government–as well as consumers the latest information, research and data from the canned food industry. The latest study was published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and found that children and adults who eat canned fruits and vegetables have greater overall fruit and vegetable consumption, better diet quality and increased nutrient intake compared to children and adults who do not eat canned fruits and vegetables. Additional research shows that canned foods provide needed nutrients often at a lower cost than fresh, frozen and dried forms particularly when price, waste and time to prepare are considered.

Policy and Legislation

As a National Strategic Partner of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, the CFA conveys how canned foods can help fill MyPlate, the USDA nutrition guide. CFA’s strategic partnerships with the Produce for Better Health Foundation (of which CFA was named a Fruits and Veggies More Matters Role Model for the fourth consecutive year), the National Fruit and Vegetable Alliance and the American Fruit and Vegetable Processors and Growers Coalition promote the consumption of all forms of fruits and vegetables, whether they are canned, fresh, frozen or dried. CFA has worked in collaboration with these groups to ensure the Dietary Guidelines (DGA) for Americans included “all forms” language, and works closely with organizations that share similar food and nutrition interests to address misconceptions regarding canned food, communicates the attributes of canned food with influencers and advocates for fair legislative and regulatory language for canned foods.

Meals and Nutrition

Canned foods are an easy, cost-effective way to eat healthy year-round. They are a simple, realistic way people can incorporate nutrients into meals and meet the USDA's 2010 Dietary Guidelines. Whats even better is that there are more than 1,500 varieties of delicious and nutritious canned foods available today. Get a quick glimpse at nutrition facts and tips for how to use in a recipe or browse the Mealtime.org canned food recipe database for quick, healthy meals to try at home.