Between 2005 and 2020, food, beverage and consumer product manufacturers anticipate to have eliminated approximately four billion pounds of packaging waste. According to two surveys conducted for the Grocery Manufacturers Association, this figure would represent a 19 percent cut in the companies' packaging weight.
Fourteen companies participated in the surveys, revealing that, since 2005, the amount of plastics used has decreased by more than 800 million pounds. Paper was reduced by more than 500 million pounds.
"In eliminating this packaging from the supply chain, we are reducing a significant volume of waste that would otherwise end up in landfills, but the benefits go far beyond that. Companies are reporting that packaging improvements are also enabling them to ship more units per truckload, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and conserve resources such as water and energy," GMA senior director of energy and environmental policy John Shanahan said.
Several of the companies have launched specific initiatives. For example, one canned food manufacturer eliminated 700,000 pounds of PVC in a packaging redesign, which allowed the company to ship 25 percent more units per truckload and removed 150 trucks from the road - saving 14,000 gallons of fuel.