So far we haven’t given it too much weight but tin cans are fundamental in our daily economy. And now they are disappearing …
Here is one of those things that you take for granted, without realizing what it would be like if, suddenly, they were no longer there. Let’s face it, we don’t give too much weight to tin cans. These are objects that, once opened and emptied, they are mostly recycled through separate collection, unless they are cans of some drink, perhaps in a limited edition. But collectors are a limited category and not all tin cans are so valuable that they are worth a place on our shelves. Raise your hand, in fact, if you have collected a can of peeled tomatoes, beans or any other legume.
To be precise, before differentiating them, the label paper should also be removed from the containers. But our attention ends there. Then the compactors or whoever for them will take care of it. But perhaps it is worth asking: if ever the traditional tin boxes no longer exist where many of the packaged products we usually buy would end up? Indeed, we would do well to ask ourselves since, apparently, the tin for preserving food is almost gone. And what is there is particularly expensive on the market. Blame for Covid-19, even here. Or, more precisely, the first lockdown imposed by the pandemic. We knew, deep down, that changing our way of life would eventually require a price.
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The tin is finished, red alert: how will the food be stored?
The problem is quickly explained. The forced stasis inside our homes has generated an exaggerated production of canned foods, precisely to cope with a practically tripled demand. Suffice it to say that 100,000 tons of tinplate are produced in the former Ilva plants in Genoa, while the national requirement stands at 800,000. The backlash comes from the stop to the automotive: the production of steel, extremely slowed down due to the drop in demand in this sector, has produced a crisis in the preservation of tin cans.
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As in everything, here too there is a risk of a domino effect. The absence of sufficient containers for storing tomatoes, for example, could leave many vegetables in the fields. A very bad business, considering that Italy is among the top producers of canned tomatoes in the world, with 5 million tons a year. Other problems are encountered for beer producers, so much so that some smaller brands may soon disappear from the market. And the situation does not improve by looking at the prices: the cost of steel, for example, has risen dramatically, in some situations by as much as 60%. Practically unapproachable, with a devastating impact on all the related sectors that base their productions on this. For now, all that remains is to observe the situation and wait for better times. But the hands run fast and the market never waits. Let alone now.