A new can end soon to hit grocery store shelves is a product of Silgan Containers’ (silgancontainers.com) ongoing efforts to find new, cost-effective and sustainable solutions for industry challenges and grow the food can market.

The easy-open end will look and function like any other easy-open end consumers have come to rely upon when buying their favorite canned foods. However, it will be fashioned from lighter weight metal, making it 20% lighter than comparable ends and the lightest-weight easy-open end of its kind in the United States.

“We are proud to be introducing a new Ultralite QTTM end as a product of our mission to provide customers with the highest quality at the lowest possible cost. By reducing the metal used in can tops, this new product will deliver significant benefit throughout the supply chain, as well as help us achieve environmental sustainability objectives,” says Dave Wood, general manager of Engineering.

The new top is a technical breakthrough borne from a corporate initiative known as CanVision 20/20, aimed at identifying significant cost reductions throughout the supply chain and, in doing so, enhancing metal food cans’ competitiveness over the long term.

Silgan Containers, part of Silgan Holdings, is the largest metal food can producer in North America. As an industry leader, it has made tackling the challenge of an ultra-lightweight end part of its efforts to maintain the competitive advantage over its competing packages.

“Our goal is to be the best at what we do, to win at providing the highest quality products and services while achieving lowest cost producer status. We believe this end is an innovation toward that effort and demonstrates our dedication to serving the changing marketplace,” says Thomas Snyder, President of Silgan Containers.

While new styles and materials for packaging have emerged in recent years, the food can remains the most financially and environmentally efficient way to deliver food safely to consumers.

Alternative packages require capital investment and new production technologies on the part of food manufacturers, and they generally are not recycled after a consumer is finished with them. By contrast, metal is infinitely recyclable, and 80 to 90 percent of all steel produced is still in use today.

 “Our company is focused on responding to needs of the marketplace, including reducing the amount of resources needed to manufacture our products,” says Thomas Snyder. “We know our customers will be thrilled about the potential cost savings inherent in the new easy-to-open end allowing for broader applications across more food categories while delivering against consumer’s desire for convenience”.