WASHINGTON — Food, beverage and consumer products manufacturers are in the process of eliminating 4 billion lbs of packaging waste over a 15-year time period, according to the Grocery Manufacturers Association.
The G.M.A. said recent research shows 1.5 billion lbs have been eliminated since 2005, including more than 800 million lbs of plastic and more than 500 million lbs of paper. In addition, the industry will reduce another 2.5 billion lbs of packaging waste by 2020.
“Across the board the food, beverage and consumer products industry has been vigilant in its efforts to reduce its environmental footprint,” said Pamela G. Bailey, president and chief executive officer of the G.M.A. “When it comes to eliminating packaging from the supply chain, we have already made significant progress, but we know we can do more. We look forward to meeting this goal to eliminate four billion pounds of packaging by 2020.”
The G.M.A. estimates the greenhouse gas emissions avoided by this reduction will have the equivalent impact of removing 815,000 cars from the road or 363,000 homes from the energy grid for one year.
“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,” said John Shanahan, senior director of energy and environmental policy at the G.M.A. “Companies are reporting that packaging improvements are also enabling them to ship more units per truckload, reduce green house gas emissions and conserve resources such as water and energy.”