Flexible packaging reduces waste at every stage of its life. It requires less energy and material to manufacture, reduces transportation costs because of its lighter weight, and sends less material to landfills. One of its greatest contributions is the reduction of food waste. This is a major challenge in the United States where about one-third of all food produced is disposed of before it is consumed, resulting in 1.3 billion tons of food thrown out annually. Food waste is also a major contributor to both greenhouse gases and methane gas at landfills. Packaging, in general, and flexible packaging in particular, can reduce food waste. Many of the convenience benefits of flexible packaging contribute directly to reducing waste: resealable, cook and serve packaging, extended shelf life, portion control, portability. Take a look at how dramatic the impact is for a number of every day foods:New processing technologies are being refined for flexible packaging that promise to extend shelf life and freshness even further without the use of preservatives. They can involve vacuum packing, using extreme high pressure (high pressure processing – HPP) or even replacing the oxygen in a package with another inert gas (modified atmosphere packaging – MAP). Flexible packaging is well-suited to withstand these processes. The EPA has established a goal to reduce food waste by 50% (from a 2015 baseline) by 2030 through voluntary programs. Many other countries have set similar goals. Flexible packaging can help us meet these goals.