What is upcycling? You can upcycle a used good or waste material to produce something new by modifying it to serve a second function outside of its original design.
We learned a lot this past year including improving our own operational efficiencies, the effects a pandemic has on supply distribution, and just how important packaging is to our customers and consumers. Through all the highs and lows our industry has seen this year, it has been our pleasure to serve you with meaningful content that helps you thrive in your business.
We shared in our last post that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that more food reaches landfills and incinerators than any other single material in our everyday trash, constituting 22 percent of discarded municipal solid waste.1
A 2015 survey2 by TNS Global that explored public opinions toward food waste and packaging found that 76% said they throw away leftovers at least once a month, while 53% throw away leftovers every week. And 51% of respondents say they throw away food we bought but never used.
The United States is the global leader in food waste. Americans throw away nearly 40 million tons of food every year at an average of 219 pounds per person. That equates to an estimated $1,600 per family in discarded fresh produce alone. According to the number of households counted in the 2016 U.S. Census, total food waste is costing Americans over $193 billion a year.
By more fresh produce companies implementing sustainably sound packaging initiatives, positive economic and environmental impact can be seen in four key ways.
Bioplastics have become a significant aspect of sustainable packaging discussions. Some short-sighted sustainability mandates have even stipulated use of bioplastics. However, while they may offer limited benefits in some areas of environmental concern, there are very real downsides that are not given equal voice in the conversation. We're taking a closer look at bio-based language and breaking down some facts around each topic.