Metal Packaging Manufacturers Association

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General Containers

Performance Container Markets
Performance containers are those required to be liquid tight. They are made by three-piece welding or precision two-piece forming systems and fall into ranges of standard container sizes. Included in this category are containers for industrial uses as well as those for the carriage of dangerous goods, which are subject to UN special construction and performance regulations. They are used as primary packaging, where the contents come into direct contact with the container. The volumetric capacity of this family of containers ranges from 30ml to 25 litres.

General Line cans serve the following markets (examples):

  • Paints DIY Retail and Professional Trade
  • Woodcare Varnish and waterproofing products
  • Industrial Coatings Building products, Bitumens, Thinners, Resins etc
  • Marine Coatings anti-fouling products and protective coatings
  • Car Refinish high quality/specification paints

Non-Performance Container Markets

Non-performance general line containers are not required to be liquid tight. They are either made-up containers using a simple lock seam for the body or non-precision two-piece drawn container. They do not fall into standard size ranges. Typical of these are the highly decorated containers, many of which are secondary packaging and used for promotional purposes. In these packages the product does not come into direct contact with the metal container for example sweets wrapped in foil and sold in a can.

All containers in this category are normally highly decorated on the outside and some have decorative coatings on the inside. In order to enhance the appearance of these cans the printed surfaces are often embossed in register with the printed image. It is true to say these containers are sold more on their quality of appearance than physical performance. Because of their ability to present very high-quality images of photographs, they are often used as a vehicle to portray commemorative occasions such as royal weddings etc.

In addition to these containers being used for promotional purposes, they also serve the following specific end markets:

  • Wines & Spirits
  • Tobacco - cigars
  • Dry foods - biscuits
  • Beverages - tea
  • Confectionery sweets, chocolates
  • Health & Beauty toiletries
  • Giftware pencil boxes, candle holders, money boxes
  • Household Products shoe polish
  • Car Care waxes, fillers (mostly two-piece as primary packaging)


These containers are also made into miscellaneous shapes representing models of cars, Christmas tree decorations, buildings, animals etc. In these forms, they will generally be sold to the consumer containing a product such as wrapped chocolates. However, they are also often sold in airport and visitor shops as empty packages.

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