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loss of customer goodwill, which is an important consideration in today’s
highly competitive marketplace.
A Tetra Pak motto is that a package should save more than it costs.
The value of packaging to society
The value of food packaging to society has never been greater nor, paradoxically,
has packaging attracted so much adverse media publicity and political attention.
In response, stakeholders in the food industries need to fully appreciate and
actively promote the positive contributions that their packaging makes to
the quality of life. Food packaging is governed by a mass of laws, regulations,
codes of practice and guidelines.
The societal benefits of packaging may include the following:
• prevents or reduces product damage and food spoilage, thereby saving
energy and vital nutrients, and protecting the health of the consumer
• requires less municipal solid waste disposal since it promotes processed
food residue recycling for use as animal feed or compost. For example,
from 454 g (1 lb) of fresh corn-on-the-cob purchased at the supermarket,
the customer eats approximately only 170 g (six ounces), and the rest ends
up in the trash can and, ultimately, in the local landfill (Institute of Packaging Professionals, IOPP, USA). This same amount of edible frozen corn
can be packed in a polyethylene bag weighing less than 5 g (less than
0.18 ounce)
• lowers the cost of many foods through economies of scale in mass production and efficiency in bulk distribution. Savings are also derived
from reduced product damage
• reduces or eliminates the risk of tampering and adulteration
• presents food in an hygienic and often aesthetically attractive way
• communicates important information about the food and helps consumers
make informed purchases
• provides functional convenience in use or preparation, freeing up more
• promotes goods in a competitive marketplace and increases consumer
• facilitates the development of modern retail formats that offer consumers
the convenience of the one-stop shop and the availability of food from
around the world throughout the year
• extends the shelf life with the benefit of prolonged product use, thereby
reducing wastage
• saves energy through the use of ambient packs that do not require refrigeration or frozen distribution and storage.