Waste Not, Want Not


      by Greg Kishbaugh

     The USDA reports that 36 million tons of food is wasted each year in the United States alone, worth $162 billion. Per family, that comes to 654 pounds worth more than $936. Wasted food and consumer items is an enormous problem and one that consumers are beginning to recognize more.
     In a recent survey conducted by an industry tech company, nearly 90 percent of respondents felt that the average amount of food and consumables a typical person throws away is a “huge waste,” while 85 percent resent the fact that they are not getting their money’s worth. Additionally, 57 percent believe it is the manufacturer, and packaging producers, that are to blame for the waste.

     Respondents hate wasted consumer products so intensely that when asked to rate their dislike for certain activities on a scale from 1 to 10, wasting consumer products received an average score of 4.8, which is the same rating as doing taxes.
     In these days of increased environmental awareness, it is a bit surprising that only 15 percent of respondents cited environmental concerns as the main reason they dislike waste. Most respondents seemed much more concerned with the monetary impact.
     So intent were respondents in getting every drop of consumer goods from their packaging, that 13 percent reported having injured themselves in trying to do so.
     The average consumer aversion to waste is an undisputed opportunity for converters. An average of 70 percent of respondents said they would be willing to change brands if it had more efficient packaging.

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