We all admire and enjoy Badger’s colorful balm tins. But did you know that since 2009 the Independent Can Company (ICC), a family owned and operated business located in the U.S., has been manufacturing them for us out of recycled steel? This amounts to 4,394,708 Badger balm tins, which is a lot of recycled and recyclable tins in six years!
Made in the USA — not just a slogan.
Founded in 1929, ICC is a leader in the manufacturing of specialty metal packaging and metal lithography, with facilities located in Belcamp, MD; Conneaut, OH; Fort Madison, IA; and Vandalia, OH (which just opened in July 2014).
Every tin manufactured by ICC is made from 25% – 60% recycled steel. This fact, combined with ICC’s commitment to a clean, environmentally conscious operation, is one of the many reasons why we at Badger love working with them.
All ICC facilities are equipped with energy-efficient heating, cooling, and motion-activated lighting, and the company’s Fort Madison location uses geothermal heating. They’ve even gone so far as to install energy saving coater ovens (the most in the world), achieve vibrant images using less ink, and utilize ultraviolet curing to save energy. These thermal ovens and thermal oxidizers are at least 20% more energy efficient.
In addition, ICC strives for consistent improvements in their annual recycling totals for steel, plastic, aluminum, corrugated, mixed paper, and energy efficiency.
It’s in the Can. Really!
Packaging made from tin-plated steel embodies the definition of sustainability in a way that no other package can claim. Beautiful and reusable, tins are often collected, refilled, or displayed. Many of you Badger fans are already aware of this fact; having discovered many uses for Badger tins long after the balm inside has disappeared.
If a tin can ever does make it to a landfill, it can be separated by a magnet and is biodegradable. The life cycle of a steel package is infinite and without loss of quality. According to the Steel Recycling Institute, the recycling rate for steel in 2012 was 88 percent. This use of recycled steel to make new steel conserves energy, reduces emissions, and conserves natural resources.
Life Cycle of Planet-Friendly Steel
- Scrap steel is bundled and taken to a recycling center.
- Next, it’s melted down and the impurities are burned off.
- If the steel is destined to become a can again instead of one of the many other uses for steel, molten steel is poured and rolled into a thin sheet.
- It’s then coated with tin to retard rust and rolled into a coil.
- The coil is cut into sheets of steel and the process of can making begins again.
Here are a few impressive and fun facts about recycled steel, which you can causally drop into polite conversation and sound wicked smart:
- Each year, more steel is recycled than glass, paper, aluminum and plastic combined.
- Steel can be infinitely recycled without loss of strength or durability.
- Recycling steel uses 60% less energy than making new.
- Every 2,000 lbs. of recycled steel saves 2,500 lbs. of iron ore, 1400 lbs. of coal and 120 lbs. of limestone
- Recycling steel saves the equivalent energy to power about 18 million households for a year
- The North American steel industry has achieved a 90% reduction in the discharge of air and water emissions versus 10 years ago
For suggestions on how to reuse your Badger tins, visit the “Other Uses for Badger” section on our website! Or, drop us a line about how you reuse your tins in the comments below!