In the United States, 1/3 of food waste is from cooking or serving too much, and 2/3 of food waste is due to food spoilage. This results in 1.3 billion tons of food thrown out annually! Food waste is also a major source of greenhouse gases and methane gas in landfills. While flexible packaging reduces waste during its whole lifespan, reducing food waste is a major contribution to its sustainability.
Flexible processing technologies reduce food waste because they extend product shelf life and freshness even further without the use of preservatives. Other contributing factors include resealable packages, cook and serve packages, portion control, and portability. All of these features allow consumers to use only what they need and keep the rest of their products fresh for longer! For example, grapes without flexible packaging will stay good for about seven days. However, when they are in flexible packaging, they will stay fresh for up to 70 days! This means consumers are wasting less food and saving money on products that have spoiled.
Our industry is always developing and promoting new processing technologies to ensure flexible packaging is extending shelf life and freshness without the use of preservatives. From vacuum packing, using extreme high pressure, or replacing the oxygen in a package with another inert gas, the flexible packaging industry is always seeking to improve and utilize innovative ideas. Innovation and technology allows flexible packaging manufacturers to use fewer natural resources in the creation of their packaging, use the least amount of packaging necessary to protect and preserve the product, creating less waste in the first place. To read more about how flexible packaging can help reduce food waste in your home, click here!