Food Waste And Packaging Are More Connected Than Assumed

The packaging that food products come in has a greater impact on food waste than previously thought. As consumers become more aware of waste (and continuing their move towards environmentally friendly lifestyles), there is a certain amount of expected throw-out/waste that food packaging companies build into their business models. With that being said, the packaging/box that food comes in itself has an effect on food waste overall.

According to GreenBiz.com,

“The reality is that 40 percent of the food that’s produced globally never even reaches its final destination as it becomes waste somewhere along the way. In 2016, ReFED published ‘A Roadmap to Reduce U.S. Food Waste By 20 Percent,’ highlighting 27 cost-effective and scalable solutions all along the supply chain. Based on this analysis, one of the most important factors in completing that journey from farm to fork has nothing to do with the food itself, but with its packaging. 

Up to 25 percent of residential food waste is due to packaging size or design, for example, food spoiling due to lack of packaging, condiments sticking to the sides and bottoms of containers or the inability to portion bulk fresh foods for timely consumption. Spoilage prevention packaging, or packaging that extends shelf-life, and packaging adjustments that enable complete consumption are capable of diverting 280,000 tons of food waste, with an economic value of $882 million.

With increased emphasis on ease and convenience, along with a drop in meals prepared and eaten at home, our food is almost exclusively coming packaged from our local grocery store or neighborhood restaurant.

In fact, Michael Pollan estimates that 19 percent of our meals are eaten in the car. With that change comes some very visible challenges — log on to social media and it takes only a matter of seconds to see photographs of the plastic contaminating our oceans or the materials piling up in our quickly-filling landfills. In response, food businesses and governments across the country and around the world are restricting or banning everything from plastic straws to grocery bags to plastic packaging in an attempt to mitigate these challenges. In fact, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation just announced a global commitment to tackle plastic waste and pollution signed by 290-plus organizations, representing 20 percent of all plastic packaging produced worldwide.

Our food is almost exclusively coming packaged from our local grocery store or neighborhood restaurant.

However, the fact that nearly half of our food is going to waste is staggering considering the 870 million people who are undernourished and the significant environmental impacts from the energy and resources used to grow, transport, store and package food that is never eaten.”

Build Rehabilitation, which is located in Los Angeles, offers specialized packaging services to a variety of different businesses in the industry. With 200 disabled workers and 50,000 square feet available, we have the space and the manpower required to service all of our clients and their custom packaging needs.

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