Why Reusable Food Packaging Has a Promising Future

Packaging is one of the largest causes of waste in the United States. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 29.7% of total waste could be attributed to containers and packaging in 2015, which weighed in at 77.9 million tons. Since the introduction of plastics into the CPG space, explained Debus, manufacturers have opted for more and more single-use packaging for its ability to reduce shipping costs. Single-use plastic packaging is also an option that promotes convenience, something that consumers have progressively wanted more of over the decades. All of this, however, comes at the expense of sustainability. Demand for conveniently packaged options continues today, but consumers have increasing sustainability concerns. As a result, retailers and manufacturers have spent years searching for alternatives that reduce the quantity of waste sent to landfills. From minimizing the amount of glass used in each bottle to switching to compostable bioplastic, packaging innovations are nothing new. What is new is the desire to combine sustainability with reusability. Reusable containers benefit the planet and companies’ bottom lines. The World Economic Forum reports plastic packaging waste represents an annual loss to the global economy of $80 billion to $120 billion. Reusable options not only help alleviate that cost burden, but consumers are also willing to pay more to help solve the sustainability problem.