The manner in which food and beverages are packaged sends a definite signal. In addition to providing brand recognition, the way in which a product is packaged impacts food quality, safety, and waste. Since 52% of the global population chooses to purchase a brand that makes a positive social and environmental impact, this is where packaging and brand recognition go hand-in-hand.
Plastic Beverage Bottles and Waste Reduction
Efforts continue to be made to reduce the amount of plastic used to contain beverages. In 1977, for example, 2-liter plastic soft drink bottles weighed 68 grams. Currently, however, their weight has been reduced to 47 grams per bottle. This constitutes a 31% weight reduction, which is substantial. In 2006 alone, these efforts saved over 180 million pounds of packaging.
Plastic, however, continues to be an effective material to package, store, and deliver beverages such as juice, soda, and water. Approximately 10 gallons of beverages can be delivered using just 2 pounds of plastic. In order to deliver the same amount of beverages in other types of containers, you would need the following amount of materials:
- Aluminum: 3 pounds
- Steel: 8 pounds
- Glass: 40 pounds
It’s important to note that an estimated 148 million people in the United States have access to local recycling programs. Since these programs do make an impact on reducing the amount of materials that end up in landfills, it makes sense to increase the amount of programs available throughout the country.
Food Packaging and Waste Reduction
Vacuum sealers provide an effective method to package perishable food items. They are able to preserve food 3 to 5 times longer than other methods, such as plastic bags and containers.
When food is packaged in plastic, experts believe that for each pound of plastic packaging that is used, food waste can be reduced by roughly 1.7 pounds.
Packaging and Food-Related Diseases
While there are a variety of factors that contribute to food-related illnesses, how these products are packaged does make a difference. Recent data shows the annual effects of food-borne diseases on people in the United States:
- Illnesses: 48 million people
- Hospitalizations: 128,000 people
- Fatalities: 3,000 people
Food Packaging Machines
Using a vertical form fill seal machine can assist with preserving food quality, safety, and reducing waste. In addition to the vertical form fill seal machine, pouch filling machines can also accomplish this goal. There are, of course, other types of machines available to package specific types of food products and beverages.