The president of the American Institute for Packaging and the Environment (AMERIPEN) told FoodProductionDaily.com that while packaging recovery is improving, more can be done.
AMERIPEN conducts research into various packaging-related topics and examines industry impact. Among recent projects: a survey that looks at recycling practices in 100 cities, and a white paper that examines strategies and financial practices of packaging recovery.
Newly elected AMERIPEN president Donna Dempsey told us that optimizing recovery of used packaging requires not just one action , but a number of different steps, to move forward.
"There’s no silver bullet,” she said. “To improve packaging recovery rates, there needs to be a multifaceted approach that takes a number of tools into account.”
Dempsey said that consumers frequently view food packaging as a barrier to sustainability—the less packaging, the better. One way consumer packaged goods firms can help both eradicate misconceptions and boost recovery rates is to better educate consumers about the benefits of packaging, and recycling practices.
This week, AMERIPEN released “Chicken and Packaging: A Sustainable Partnership,” outlining the effects packaging has on the chicken industry value chain. Dempsey said the report lays out how packaging evolution has helped improve the shelf life, quality and sustainability of packaged chicken products.
The report points out that Americans now consume an average of 84 lbs. of chicken each year, up from 53 lbs. that they consumed 25 years ago. A key reason for that boom in demand, the report concludes, is the evolution of packaging technology.
For more information about AMERIPEN and its research into packaging sustainability issues, visit the organization site at www.ameripen.org .