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    Packaging Adjustments

    Diversion Potential:
    208K Tons

    Economic Value Per Ton:

    GHGs Reduced:
    830K Tons

    Water Saved:
    100B Gallons


    Modifying packaging sizes and designs to optimize consumer consumption and avoid residual container waste


    • There is a lack of data; both consumer demand and the potential for waste reduction are uncertain for many packaging sizes and configurations.
    • Although easy grab-n-go snack packs are widely available, most other standard packaging has not been changed to minimize waste.
    • Large bulk packaging can market lower net unit costs, often encouraging consumers to over purchase in the hopes of achieving net savings.
    • Packaging that reduces food waste may have other environmental trade-offs, such as higher net packaging volume or use of materials that are more challenging to recycle.
    • Smaller packaging sizes can have unintended consequences by increasing SKUs and inventory needs.

    Stakeholder Actions

    • Nonprofits, academia, manufacturers, and trade associations can conduct consumer insights research on smaller and unique packaging configurations and current levels of over purchasing of bulk pack sizes in search of deals.
    • Universities and accelerators can launch competitions to identify the latest packaging innovations.
    • Manufacturers and other food businesses can support entrepreneurs by engaging as pilot customers.

    Examples & Resources

    • In the U.K., bread was identified as one of the most thrown away items. One manufacturer, Kingsmill, recently introduced their “Little Big Loaf”, a smaller, more manageable size designed to decrease the amount of bread wasted.

    • MIT engineers developed LiquiGlide, a nontoxic coating that can be applied to food packaging to increase the consumer’s ability to get all of the food out. Target products include ketchup and mayonnaise bottles.

    Related Solutions

    Top Rated Solution:
    Most Cost Effective
    Greatest GHG Reduction
    Most Water Saved

    Consumer Education Campaigns

    Conducting large-scale advocacy campaigns to raise awareness and educate consumers about ways to save money and prevent wasted food.

    $4531 /ton
    in financial benefit

    584 K tons/yr
    in diversion potential

    0 M meals/yr
    meals recovered

    2336 K tons/yr
    in GHG reduction

    281 B gal/yr
    in water conservation

    jobs created

    Learn How >

    Spoilage Prevention Packaging

    Packaging technologies that actively slow fruit and meat spoilage through ethylene absorption and other techniques

    $2326 /ton
    in financial benefit

    72 K tons/yr
    in diversion potential

    0 M meals/yr
    meals recovered

    329 K tons/yr
    in GHG reduction

    44 B gal/yr
    in water conservation

    jobs created

    Learn How >
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