But before fumbling in drawers of tangled implements for a can opener or wrestling the ring pull with slippery fingers there is another way.

RPC Bebo Nederland has developed what it believes is the first alternative to the traditional tin can with a reclosable plastics barrier pack.

Milos of West Galilee, Israel initiated development of the custom designed 101mm diameter tub for its tomato paste range. The tub is thermoformed in multi-layer PP with EVOH providing the oxygen barrier to give the product an ambient shelf life in excess of 12 months.

It features a smooth finish with a red coloured outer layer of PP and a white inner layer. There is a foil seal together with a reclosable lid that provides consumers with an added convenience over tin cans. Lighter weight is another claimed benefit.

Milos initially began talks with RPC Bebo in 1998 regarding the possibility of replacing the traditional can for tomato paste with a more convenient, easy opening alternative that offered the same long shelf life properties. However, market research indicated that consumers were not yet ready to swap tin for plastics.

Since then, the explosion of plastics used in all types of convenience foods convinced the company that the market is now right. After positive trial results earlier this year, it is now moving to full production.

The tubs open opportunities to many other long life food applications and fillers looking for an alternative to tin can packs.