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How Sealed Food Packages Can Cut Down on Waste

Stock clamshell packaging

Worrying plays a big role in our society. We worry about the dangers of living in a modern world; about disappearing natural resources; and about our health. After all of those concerns, we now also worry about the mark we leave on the world; namely, the piles of trash.

Recycling is a step in the right direction, but on its own is still not enough. It is estimated that about 148 million people, or 60% of the U.S. population has access to a plastics recycling program. But what else could we be doing to minimize waste?

It is not enough to make sure our trash is separated from our plastic bottles and cups before trash day. We also need to think about the way we package our food. While there are numerous ways of cutting down on excess, today let’s look at how food sealing machines can assist us in reducing our trash piles.

As a nation, we dispose of frankly too much food. A big reason for this is a mishandling of fresh foods, meaning improperly stored. This may be bread that was allowed to sit out and became stale, or was stored in a humid cupboard and grew mold. It might mean loose apples that become bruised and rotted, or crisp vegetables that were not kept cool and grew soft.

It is not exactly new that temperature plays a major role in keeping food edible, but the effect air has on food might be to some. Experts estimate that packaging machines can reduce food waste, specifically that for every one pound of plastic, it is possible to save more than one and a half pounds of food. While that one pound of plastic may bother some who insist that it will still create trash, there is good news.

Food sealing machines that use plastic have actually become more efficient over the years. For example, take the 2-liter soda bottle. Since 1977, packaging experts have reduced the weight of each empty bottle by 31%, from 68 grams to 47 grams today according to factory checkweighers. This has kept an estimated 180 million pounds of plastic packaging out of landfills each year.

So plastic packaging might not be so bad. But how much longer can food sealing machines really preserve food? A fair amount of time actually, as a vacuum sealed package of food is expected to keep food preserved for three to five times longer than a simple food container.

We need to rethink how we keep our food fresh. This does not necessarily mean we need a revolutionary idea to cut down on food waste, but perhaps we just need to make a few adjustments to how we do things. Although reducing the trash we create, recycling what we can, and reusing appropriate items certainly helps with plastics, it is minimizing food waste that is the next area to focus our attention on.