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Over 11 Billion a Year Wasted Due to Poor Packaging
There are a number of large brands that are wasting expensive materials ($11 billion+ annually) because of bad sustainable packaging practices and excess waste. This study was conducted by the Natural Resources Defense Council and As You Sow, both organizations are always working hard to promote sustainability. The study analyzed the packaging practices of 47 different fast food chains, grocers, and beverage companies including well-known brands such as Kraft Foods, Taco Bell, Starbucks, KFC, and more.
The full report can be seen here in this PDF, it is called “Waste and Opportunity 2015”.
In addition to the study, the NRDC and As You Sow have also included recommendations on ways for the companies to become more sustainable. Packaging sustainability will help minimize further environmental damage and will also save money that is currently being wasted by these companies. Some of the brands that are included in this report are already working on making changes to cut down on waste, but they still have a long way to go.
When it comes to recycled products, the report states that only about half of all recyclable packaging sold is actually recycled after use. Even with recycling being so common, there is still a need for more consumer education, which can help more people understand the importance of recycling.
Plastic packaging materials are becoming a big problem worldwide since it is one of the fastest growing types of packaging, and it is also a major cause of pollution around the globe. The confusion about what can be recycled and what cannot be is one of the reasons that such a small percentage of plastic packaging is recycled. This is why there needs to be more of a focus on education about plastics and other recyclable packaging products.
Sustainability in Packaging
The future of the packaging industry is looking bright, and one of the biggest trends that we will see in coming years is the rise of better and more sustainable packaging. We are starting to see cities and states around the US started to place bans and restrictions on certain types of packaging materials. Most recently we learned of NYC now banning Styrofoam packaging that is commonly used in takeout trays and cups.
As more people realize the negative impact that certain products have on the environment they will be more willing to change. Manufacturers are also seeing how much money can be saved with sustainable packaging, and this is mainly due to how much waste is cut down when making the switch to cleaner and safer packaging materials.