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Can Flexible Retail Packaging Help Feed the World?

Feed_The_World.jpgA large percentage of today’s consumers are choosing products from socially minded companies.

From the clothing they wear to the food they purchase, shoppers want to feel good about how they are spending their dollars. With companies like TOMS shoes achieving growth and success with its “buy one, give one” model, consumers have come to expect big brands to take action toward making the world a better place. By purchasing items from charitable companies, we too can do our part to support great causes. (Image Source: http://www.foodonline.com/)

A pressing issue facing our world today is food waste.

Did you know one third of food production across the globe is thrown away?

With millions of hungry, undernourished people living in developing regions, realizing that we’re wasting perfectly good, healthy products is alarming. 

Take a look at these startling statistics from UNEP and WRI:

  • In the U.S., 30 to 40 percent of the food supply is wasted.
  • The amount of food wasted in the U.S. is equal to more than 20 pounds of food per person each month.
  • About 24 percent of calories produced for consumption are lost or wasted.
  • Nearly $1 trillion of all food produced across the world gets lost or wasted.

There is no simple solution to this epidemic, but companies can make small changes than can help create a better world. Flexible retail packaging has the ability to reduce wasted products by preventing leaks and spills with its strong, high-quality materials. Its ability to help products a longer shelf life means less food is used up or disposed. This kind of packaging is easy to transport, so delivering nutritious, healthy foods and liquids to those in need is both cost and time efficient.

In certain parts of the world, food is wasted most often during transportation. Flexible packaging like kraft stand up pouches is completely sealed until a consumer opens it. This type of bag is made with a durable outer layer and protective inner lining, making it resistant to breaks or tears.

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Resealing is also important in eliminating food waste by reducing spoiling once the packaging has been opened. Kraft stand up pouches are taking off due to their light weight and strong, resealable closure. Other types of flexible retail packaging come with zip locks, resealable tape, or are even vacuum-sealed to keep food fresh. The materials used for these kinds of bags and pouches guarantee products will last longer, so food can be saved and preserved.

Not only can flexible retail packaging act as a catalyst for curbing world hunger, it can also have a lasting positive impact on the ecosystem. Kraft stand up pouches are recyclable and landfill friendly, preventing a build up of trash littered across our planet. Companies can help better the lives of consumers by packaging their product in containers that help eliminate food waste and cut back on refuse that is damaging to the environment. 

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Brittany Nader

Written by Brittany Nader

What LEGO’s Sustainable Packaging Teaches Us About Overseas Innovation

Since 1949, children across the globe have fawned over tiny, plastic, interlocking bricks.

LEGOs are a not only a classic toy but a staple in many households. Many kids beg their parents to take them to the majestic LEGOLAND, an amusement park where all their wishes and dreams could come true.

Why Nestlé, Unilever & PepsiCo are Banning Oxo-degradable Plastic Packaging

Originally marketed as an eco-friendly packaging material, new evidence regarding the potentially negative impact of oxo-degradable plastics has led a number of companies and governments to restrict their use.

More than 150 companies and global organizations, including Nestlé, Unilever and PepsiCo, have recently endorsed a total ban on the material in light of its potentially negative environmental impact.

Oxo-degradable plastic packaging, which includes select plastic pouch bags, is often marketed as a solution to plastic pollution because it claims to degrade into harmless residues within a period ranging from a few months to several years. However, oxo-degradable plastics do not degrade into harmless residues, but instead, fragment into tiny shards of plastic that actually contribute to plastic pollution.

Often, consumers think that because a material is biodegradable, it can be composted or even littered on the ground, because, it is thought, the material will break down into nothing over time. This actually ends up leading to an increase in pollution, since consumers don’t end up recycling or repurposing the material, and misconceptions about how the plastic will degrade leads them to end up putting it back into landfills.

What is important to note in this case is that although oxo-degradable plastics are biodegradable, being biodegradable does not necessarily mean that a material is eco-friendly. Although these plastics do break down over time, the tiny pieces they break down into are still plastics that contribute to pollution — they do not degrade into nothing or into another usable substance.

For companies looking to make the switch to sustainable packaging, it is important to consider that sustainable packaging does not necessarily mean biodegradable packaging, and vice versa.

Why New FDA Guidelines Could Bring Big Changes to Pet Food Packaging

Today’s consumers are demanding transparency and accountability from all types of products, and pet food is no exception.

Greater scrutiny over pet food ingredients, and an increasing demand for responsibility, sustainability and complete transparency from pet food manufacturers is driving change within the industry. As the consumer demand for “clean” pet food labeling evolves as a major topic within the world of pet packaging, FDA guidelines are shifting.