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‘Elephant in the room’

In terms of BPA, Viardot believes the challenges the company has faced in the past few years have only made it stronger as a result. With other issues dominating the headlines, including chrome-free and the UK’s stand-off with China over waste disposal, he believes the industry has finally started to focus on solutions rather than the issue.

“BPA was a huge challenge before 2015, and continuing until 2017, but it’s interesting how much we have learnt from it,” he says. “It has only made the industry stronger – it’s meant we have had to have everybody investigating new technologies, different technologies, with different equipment and competencies. We continue to believe that BPA is safe, but have removed it when asked to do so by our customers”

“If you look into other packaging businesses – for example plastic and glass, they are also having their own set of issues. So BPA is not unique to the metal can, it’s occurring in all types of flexible packaging.”

Mr Viardot, believes that the time for talking about the issue is over, particularly considering that the new range of epoxy-free coatings compare favourably in terms of performance.

“Vitallure G2 10 is a good example of this. When looking at performance, our technology performance feedback is impressive – you can make coatings, which have same the chemical performance as an epoxy and fulfil regulatory requirements. For us it’s about being a leader in this segment by offering the right, sustainable solution.

The future

Mr Viardot concludes with an observation on the ongoing requirements of the metal packaging industry:

“The industry needs to find a way of cleverly promoting the advantages of the metal can. Using sound chemistry and making the right choices now, we will ensure that the metal can, an infinitely recyclable and sustainable package, continues to be the package of choice in the future.”