A greater number of manufacturers and retailers are turning away from excessive packaging in an attempt to go the environmentally friendly route. Another factor for reduced packaging? The difficult economy and hiked oil prices, The New York Times reported, which is the reason that many stores are throwing out difficult-to-open clamshell packaging and embracing alternatives.
"With the instability in petroleum-based materials, people said we need an alternative to the clamshell," said Jeff Kellogg, vice president for consumer electronics and security packaging for packaging company MeadWestvaco, to the source.
Big-name stores such as Target have changed packaging methods to cut back on spending. For example, the company has removed the plastic lids from its in-store yogurt brand, reduced the use of plastic on its light bulb packages and is selling socks tied together by paper bands opposed to plastics bags. Its competitor, Walmart, has been working to reduce its packaging by 5 percent between 2008 and 2013 and is selling concentrated laundry detergent to help meet this goal.
All of these efforts are bound to make a serious impact. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, packaging adds up to nearly 80 million tons of waste per year, or about 4.3 pounds per person, per day.