What in the world of food waste and packaging is it?

By Rick Lingle in Food Packaging on December 20, 2016

A new product-focused promotion from AMERIPEN presents some interesting facts about the efficiency of packaging to help reduce food waste. Can you guess what the product is?

 

This packaging quiz is courtesy of a new campaign from AMERIPEN, the American Institute for Packaging and the Environment, to highlight the invaluable role packaging plays to reduce food waste. Along the way the document provides interesting facts along about the carbon footprint—via a life cycle assessment (LCA)—of a common packaged product.

We thought we’d turn it into a quiz to see if our savvy packaging professionals readers can deduce what it is. We start by noting that as with many food and beverages, it originates on a farm.

Sadly, Americans throw away more than 20% of this product after they bring it home. What a waste at the far end of the value chain, right?  

Two-thirds of that is due to spoilage while the remaining one-third is due to preparation and serving issues.

It turns out that the product’s packaging—about 2oz in weight—is a mere 3.5% of the product’s total carbon footprint as determined by a LCA. Here are some other life-cycle assessment figures from this American staple:

Slightly more than half of the product’s carbon footprint is made in production; and

More than twice as much of its carbon footprint is in its transportation than in its packaging.

Think you know what it is? Turn the page for the reveal.

 

Photo credit: Designed by Freepik

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Explore fresh food packaging ideas at WestPack, February 7-9, 2017, in Anaheim, CA

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I'm not surprised to hear of conventional industrial farm Milk Feed and Milk Production's large carbon footprint environmental impact but surprised to hear that 20% of milk is wasted - thrown out by consumers. This illustrates the sad state of food waste in the U.S.A. (I have read as much as 40% wasted), where 1 in 7 children are hungry daily. It's great that packaging helps protect food preventing waste with small footprint but the root of the food waste crisis in this country goes much deeper.