A whopping one third – or about 1.3 billion tons – of the food produced for human consumption worldwide is lost every year. Americans throw out about 40 percent of the food they produce annually, the equivalent of $165 billion. When one of every six Americans lacks food security, the amount of food discarded every year is even more startling. However, consumers are largely uneducated about how packaging can protect fresh foods. Only 13 percent of consumers understand that keeping food in original packaging keeps it fresher for longer, and 61 percent think that fruits and vegetables spoil more quickly in packaging.
In fact, packaging can do just the opposite. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) identifies extended shelf life technologies as solutions that packaging suppliers can use to combat food waste.