According to the American Institute for Packaging and the Environment (AMERIPEN), Americans throw away 36 million tons of food each year, valued at $162 billion. Per family, that comes to 654 pounds worth more than $936. For reference, two-thirds of at-home food waste is due to spoilage before preparation, and one-third is due to cooking or serving more than can be eaten.
One defense against food waste is packaging, AMERIPEN says. Not only does the right package contain and protect our food supply, but it also maintains freshness and nutritional value. Plus, packaging provides critical storage and usage information while helping to control portion size, ensuring that the amount of food prepared is equal to the amount that will be eaten.
To help create a better understanding of packaging’s role in reducing food waste, AMERIPEN has just released a new brochure titled Reducing Fresh Food Waste: The Role of Packaging. This brochure was created to explain the many benefits of packaging in the fight to maintain a sustainable food supply.
Says AMERIPEN, obviously, it hurts families to throw away $936 annually on wasted food. But it also harms the environment through overproduction, poor land use, and needless resource consumption. Plus, it hurts society because wasted food could instead feed those who need it most: the 50 million Americans who are food insecure (source: Feeding America).
Says Donna Dempsey, Executive Director of AMERIPEN, “To most people, the fact that packaging plays a very positive role in our efforts to reduce food waste is counterintuitive. They usually think about a package when it comes time to put it in the recycling or trash bin. What they don’t realize is how that little bit of packaging saves a significant amount of food along with the related economic and environmental resources from being thrown away.”
Those interested in learning more about food waste can also visit the Food Waste Reduction Alliance website.