- Issue: Fall 2014
- In This Story:
Using more packaging than a food product needs creates waste across the whole production process, from requiring more raw materials and energy to generating more trash. But underpackaging also strains the system, creating waste when food spoils or is damaged from lack of proper protection. The optimal packaging solution provides sufficient protection while minimizing its impact on the environment.
Food spoils. And a lot of organic material that gets thrown away could probably be saved through better packaging. In the US in 2011, packaging made up 13.1% of all municipal solid waste (garbage from homes, businesses, schools and hospitals) that ended up in landfills. It accounted for just 8.4% in the EU and less than 3% in the UK. Organic material, on the other hand, is estimated to make up 46% of the waste stream worldwide.
Maximum shelf life of beef sold in pre-sealed plastic packaging
Shelf life of beef sold in butcher paper
Period after which an unwrapped cucumber becomes unsalable
Period after which a plastic-wrapped cucumber becomes unsalable