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AMERICANS DISCARDING FAR LESS FOOD AND GROCERY PACKAGING

 WASHINGTON, March 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Americans discarded 18 percent less food and grocery packaging per capita between 1980 and 1990, according to a new report by Franklin Associates.
 Per capita discards are expected to decrease another 14 percent in the next decade, says Grocery Packaging In Municipal Solid Waste, a study sponsored by the National Frozen Food Institute (AFFI), and the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA).
 "Clearly, the impact of food packaging on the solid waste stream is declining," said NFPA President and CEO John R. Cady. "As the report states, the food industry has been successful in reducing municipal solid waste -- and without federal government mandates that are costly to both industry and consumers. This study -- the first comprehensive examination of food and grocery packaging as a component of municipal solid waste -- will provide a baseline from which to measure future progress."
 Steven C. Anderson, president and CEO of AFFI, noted "The positive outcome of this report indicates that the entire food industry is doing its part to alleviate the solid waste burden facing our nation. On behalf of the frozen food industry, I'm confident that we're moving in the right direction."
 In 1980, Americans discarded an average of 175 pounds per year of food and grocery packaging, the report notes. By 1990, this figure had dropped 18 percent to 143 pounds per person per year. Per capita discards are expected to decrease another 14 percent in the next decade, to approximately 124 pounds per person in 2000.
 The substitution of lighter weight packaging materials, elimination of redundant packaging, and packaging container "light-weighting" all contributed to this dramatic decline in discards. Projections for a continued decline in discards are based on factors including continued recovery for recycling and composting, increased consumption of prepared foods (less food wastes), and packaging redesign for recycling and reuse.
 Food packaging now accounts for less than seven percent of municipal solid waste, according to the report.
 Food and grocery packaging discards are decreasing at the same time that U.S. population is increasing, the report pointed out. Between 1980 and 1990, U.S. population grew 10 percent, while food and grocery packaging discards decreased 9.4 percent. The result is a decrease in the amount of this packaging discarded in landfills and combustion facilities.
 NFPA is the scientific voice of the food industry, concentrating exclusively on food issues. The association's 500 member companies produce the nation's processed-packaged fruits and vegetables, meat and poultry, seafood, juices and drinks, and specialty products.
 -0- 3/9/93
 /CONTACT: Timothy Willard of National Food Processors Association, 202-637-8060/


CO: National Food Processors Association ST: District of Columbia IN: FOD AGR SU:

TM-LD -- NY092 -- 4733 03/09/93 19:30 EST
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Date:Mar 9, 1993
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