As a consumer society, we produce a lot of waste; 250 million tons of domestic waste was generated in 2015 in the US alone, and quite a lot of that waste consists of food. In fact, 25-40% of the food produced is never eaten, but adhesives are able to reduce waste provided their potential is explored properly.
For example, using recycled materials for packaging is an excellent idea, but if the wrong adhesives are chosen, the benefits of choosing these materials are sacrificed. Specialized adhesives developed for specific materials will prevent food waste and support sustainability.
The packaging and adhesives industries are experiencing rapid change as the demand for new approaches such as flexible packaging, recycling and new packaging designs continues to grow. Specialized adhesives make sustainable concepts in packaging design possible. For example, the trend towards using thinner plastic for beverage containers presents labelling challenges that call for flexible adhesives and improved label application systems.
Clearly, the packaging and adhesives industries cannot eliminate food waste on their own, but there is no doubt that, with continued innovation and partnership, they can contribute to a reduction in food waste and landfill mass.
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