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Extra packaging a waste for grocery manufacturers

WASHINGTON -- Consumers can expect to find less packaging with their food and beverages in the coming years as manufacturers look to eliminate waste. The Grocery Manufacturers Association found that by 2020 2.5 billion pounds of waste is expected to be avoided by 2020.  This is on top of the 1.5 billion pounds of packaging avoided since 2005.

"Across the board, the food, beverage and consumer products industry has been vigilant in its efforts to reduce its environmental footprint," said Pamela Bailey, president and CEO of GMA. "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 meeting this goal to eliminate four billion pounds of packaging by 2020."

The 1.5 billion pounds of packaging avoided since 2005 includes more than 800 million pounds of plastic and more than 500 million pounds of paper.  Packaging improvements have spanned most product categories, with no single category dominating.  Companies reported that they achieved the 2005 to 2010 reductions through the success of more than 180 distinct improvement initiatives that included package redesigns and increased use of recyclable inputs.