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Demand for More Sustainable Packaging


This article was written on February 4th by Food Engineering Magazine. The author, Sean Riley discusses that the demand for easily recyclable materials is continuing to grow. Consumers today are becoming more aware of the relationship between consumption and environmental impact. As of right now, people are becoming more concerned about where their food is from and ending outcome of the product. Packaging has been a struggle for us because we use it in our everyday lives and has become a part of modern day living.  Material suppliers and consumer packaged goods companies are coming up with new and improved solutions to meet the new sustainability bar with goods that can actually be recycled and upgraded machinery. By changing the designs of packaging to a thinner material and reducing the amount of plastic used we are heading towards our primary goal of sustainability. This is an important step to be taken because of all the waste gained from packaging, food companies, and retailers. So much waste is produced every second just from how we pack our lunches, how we take our groceries home, getting bottled drinks from the store, fast food industries, take-out containers, etc. One of the biggest challenges that we face is that plastic is not recycled effortlessly or cost effectively. These companies are aiming at finding ways to make single use plastics non-existent with machinery that can handle these recycled materials and show the same performance level as raw materials. Machine builders may have to change the functionality and production speeds for this technology to work as best as it can. One thing that I found really interesting that this article mentioned was that Amazon is working with many other manufacturers to lessen the amount of packaging and to provide us with materials certified as recyclable to help reduce the footprint that packaging has already put on sustainability. To be honest this article gave me some hope in realizing that some companies are recognizing the amount of waste we produce and answering and fixing problems that should have already been into play. If everyone could cooperate, we could put an end to plastic waste affecting oceans and waterways and contributing to human and animal health problems. I believe that the authors intended audience was for people who are concerned with the amount of waste from food corporations and companies alone and how it influences our environmental and social impact. Possible biases from the author may include the fact that he is the senior director for Media and Communications for PMMI. PMMI is the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies and he could have been paid to write the article for them and their future advances. Overall, I felt like this article stood out to me because I am starting to minimize the amount of plastic waste that I use for the health of the environment and for the health of myself and friends. With a little cooperation and consideration, we could all help decrease the carbon footprint that has occurred.

Link: https://www.foodengineeringmag.com/articles/97269-consumers-demanding-more-sustainable-packaging

2 thoughts on “Demand for More Sustainable Packaging

  1. Tim Krok

    Good article and good summary. I too found it interesting that Amazon is working on lessening their packaging. I’d say 75% of the items I’ve ordered off Amazon have been negatively affected by their packaging. I realize it’s not just Amazon’s fault though. When it’s Prime shipping, I feel like my packages get punted from one location to the next. It’ll be interesting to see if their new system will minimize this. I also agree with your statement about feeling hopeful because companies are trying to be more green.

  2. prof.saunders

    Thanks, Mary, for highlighting such an important issue! Excess packaging drives me crazy! It’s also interesting to note how, before the economic downturn in 2008, producers were moving more towards sustainability (with a focus on recycling and eco-efficiency), but then afterwards, shifted their focus to lower prices. Do you think “sustainability” is a concept only some of us can afford to think of?

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