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So much produce comes in plastic. Is there a better way?

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece in the New York Times or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: The quest to find alternatives to plastic packaging for produce is gaining momentum as environmental concerns and government regulations push for sustainable solutions
• Companies like Driscoll’s are exploring paper containers, while others develop materials from natural waste or design biodegradable packaging to reduce plastic's environmental impact

🔭 The context: The use of plastic in food packaging, while effective in reducing food waste by extending shelf life, contributes significantly to pollution and greenhouse gas emissions 
• Efforts to limit plastic use face the challenge of balancing environmental benefits with the need to prevent food waste, which also has a considerable environmental footprint

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: Transitioning away from plastic packaging in the produce industry could significantly reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions 
• However, achieving this goal requires innovative packaging solutions that maintain food safety and quality without increasing food waste, alongside improvements in recycling and composting infrastructure

⏭️ What's next: As the industry explores alternatives like biodegradable bags, edible coatings, and innovative shipping containers, the challenge remains to find scalable, cost-effective solutions that satisfy both environmental and consumer needs
• Regulatory pressure and consumer demand for sustainable practices are likely to accelerate these developments

💬 One quote: “The packaging conversation is being held hostage by one side or the other,” (Max Teplitski of the International Fresh Produce Association)

📈 One stat: The average American family of four spends $1,500 each year on food that ends up uneaten, with fruits and vegetables accounting for nearly half of all household food waste

Click for more news covering the latest on sustainable lifestyle


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