Let's Talk Flexible Packaging

Reducing Food Waste

Did you know flexible packaging keeps food fresher longer and helps reduce food waste? The amount of food wasted in the United States is staggering – approximately 40% of food is not consumed annually, 36 million tons, making wasted food the single biggest occupant in American 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.

 

The Flexible Packaging Association is committed to fighting food waste by developing innovative packaging that extends the shelf life of perishable foods.  

The Typical American Family Throws Away food infographic
Reducing Food Waste | Much Food Waste is due to spoilage infographic

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. 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 the dramatic impact flexible packaging has on the shelf life of these everyday foods.

Flexible Packaging Extends Shelf Life infographic

Become part of the movement - EDUCATE!

Fact or Fiction? Flexible Packaging takes up the most space in U.S. landfills. 

 

FICTION. Food waste takes up the most space in U.S. landfills.  

FACT: Flexible packaging keeps food fresher longer and helps reduce food waste. 

Activities and Resources

The Experiment

Solve the Problem

  • Question – How do I store my perishable food, so they stay fresh longer? 
  • Hypothesis – What do YOU think will work best?

What You’ll Need

  • Favorite food – we suggest fruit, cheese or even a sandwich! 
  • Food containers – plastic bag, wax paper or foil, paper bag, a plate (choose at least 3)
  • Observation notebook 

Instructions

  • Take a piece of your favorite food and divide into equal pieces to store in each food container 
  • Place a piece of the food in each food container 
  • Place each container in the refrigerator and check on your snack each day 
  • Take notes or draw pictures about how the food looks, feels and tastes or smells each day 

Observations

  • Which food container kept your snack looking yummy and tasting fresh? 
  • Which food container caused the food to spoil the fastest? 

Share Your Experiment Results

  • Take photos or make a video of your experiment and share with us! Be sure to tag #FlexPackExperiment in your video! 

Find Your Local Flexible Packaging Recycling Location