Summary of Waste and Opportunity 2015

Environmental Progress and Challenges in Food, Beverage, and Consumer Goods Packaging

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Waste and Opportunity 2015 summary
Corporations must evaluate the environment impact of their current packaging standards and recycling practices.


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Despite the widespread awareness about recycling benefits, the recycling rate in the United States is lower than that of many developed countries. This report by Conrad B. MacKerron, an executive with the nonprofit organization As You Sow, analyzes the current packaging practices of the quick service (or fast food) restaurant, beverage and consumer goods sectors. getAbstract recommends his research to managers of QSR, beverage and consumer goods companies, as well as packaging designers and environmentalists.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Which packaging policies companies in the quick service (or fast food) restaurant, beverage and grocery sectors currently practice;
  • What challenges companies face in trying to increase the recycling rate of packaging materials; and
  • What steps companies can take to make their recycling processes more efficient.


The United States has a general recycling rate of 34.5% and recycles packaging at an approximate rate of 51%. Postconsumer material worth $11.4 billion is wasted every year due to a lack of adequate facilities and policies. As a result, Americans recycle at a far lower rate than citizens in many other...
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About the Author

Conrad B. MacKerron is the senior vice president at As You Sow, a nonprofit organization working toward increased environmental and social corporate responsibility.

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