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S Brownell
Helen William's lecture. The role of packaging in food waste.

What is your general reaction to the lecture?  Brainstorm at least one way packaging could play a role or be used as a solution to your team's chosen food waste problem.

My general reaction to the

My general reaction to the lecture was overall a positive one. I thought it was interesting when she described her location and mentioned how it was focus around a lake, which I then made the comparison to our very similar current location circumstance. The beginning of the lecture was a lot of what I think many of us already have a pretty good understanding on. When she started talking about making the packaging smaller to guide focus to smaller portion sizes I automatically thought, well what about the impacts of the increasing the packaging materials. Needless to say, I am glad she went on to show how the increase in packaging material wouldn’t cause as much of an impact as I originally assumed. She also wrapped up with the thought quality versus quantity, which I feel is large social issue that also needs to be addressed. It is definitely intertwined with the problem of food waste, however may need to be tackled through different means. Although, if we move toward lessened food waste that adjoining problem will likely find its correct course of action.
I certainly think packaging could be used as a means to get the wicked problem closer to a solution, however I do not think it will be the end all be all to the problem at hand. One technique could be finding a packaging structure that is compostable and durable. For example instead of those large strawberry containers, create a material what will protect the strawberries but also incorporated advertising skill to promote composting. This idea could also become returning the packaging to a vendor location for discounted strawberries the next time. This may be hard to implement in larger grocery stores seeing as most of their drive comes from profit and not saving on waste. Another possible idea would be for selective packaging to serve a secondary function of a compost bin after the contents inside have been used. Then maybe when you fill that package with compost, bring it to a site and get a coupon for another like product. This would encourage customers to compost as well as have them coming back to buy the product, which would theoretically continue the composting cycle.

Packaging is one of the

Packaging is one of the leading role in resolving to food waste problem. It is an opportunity to reduce continuous cycle of food waste problem. Food processed and production of fresh food can maintain high quality with packaging whether it is in transit, prior consumption, and in storage. IT will enhance protection, temperature control, and ventilation. It will recover food and redirect to food rescue ensuring it’s maintain high quality. Packaging will help prevent waste of product when being passed along from producer to consumer. Such an example is waste within home and resources which goes into waste when producing, transporting, selling and consuming. The cost of packaging is costly regarding to economics and environmental factors. However the return on investment is often high. About 10% of the energy used come from packaging alone when processing in the supply chain. The benefit is when processing packaging, it can help protect around ten times its weight of food. The conclusion of food waste indicated it has outweigh the cost of environment compared to the shrink‐wrap. Which makes packaging become crucial part of streamlining the food supply chain. I support Helen’s lecture of food packaging as a way to reduce food waste issue as it can slow down the cycle of draining food waste problem. It was surprising to know the fact of how much revenues were spent on food production and the total cost of food waste which could feed the entire homeless population. Overall, packaging will save costs and bring efficient use for the consumers which will protect food waste issue.

Kerry McCarthy
Helen William's lecture. The

Helen William's lecture. The role of packaging in food waste.
What is your general reaction to the lecture?  Brainstorm at least one way packaging could play a role or be used as a solution to your team's chosen food waste problem.
I found the Helen William's lecture to be very informational and let me view packaging in a different light. I agree with her when she said that we need to start looking at the service perspective of packing which deals with what can packaging do, not just what packaging is. By considering what packaging can do and human behavior when dealing with packaging, we can actually prevent food waste. Things like resealable bags, easy open lids, making food easy to transport and eat at different types of locations, and having accurate nutritional information, are all important services that packaging can do for us.
My group is focusing on the collection of organic waste in the upperclassmen on-campus apartments at RIT. An improvement to the packaging used by dining services on campus could lead to less organic waste going in the landfill. If RIT were to implement a composting service, I think we could use some of the services food packaging can do for us and apply them to the design and fuction of organic waste collection bins.


A lot of what Helen Williams

A lot of what Helen Williams says is certainly accurate in regards to how certain types of packagin can help foods have longer lifespans. I think that with greater attention paid to service packagine world wide, a lot of strides can be made in the area. My main concern however is adding to the overall waste management issue. While she does speak a lot on the topic of recycling and re-purposing materials, I feel that the reality is that many consumers will not take the environmental initiave seriously. While stronger packing addresses one aspect of the food waste problem, we have to determine if it will simply create more waste, especially if it will be inorganic. 
I think that packaging can play a significant role in the food waste issue in Haiti in a variety of ways. As we've discovered in the past couple of weeks, the majority of food is wasted during storage and transportation prior to reaching the consumer. A possible solution could be to produce packaging that may reduce exposure of the elements to crops during transport. Temperature control could also be implemented, which would have unprecedented benefit. Packaging foods prior to sale would go a long way in protecting them from possible unsanitary conditions found in many markets.  Another way in which packing may be able to get the problem under control is by packing the waste itself. With a stronger waste management system, less food would be wasted due to contamination. 

OceanJangda's picture
Williams lecture was

Williams lecture was certainly thought provoking. I had not considered the significance of packaging in the food waste issue, but she did a great job of showing with data how changes in packaging actually directly affect food waste, in addition to the waste that is considered in the packaging itself. What I find particularly interesting is the relationship between the sustainability of the packaging the level of food waste provoked by that packaging's functionality. For example she shows how a more complex and energy intensive package on a food product reduced waste of that product, but since the packaging itself was less sustainable than other designs, the reduced food waste was actually negated by increased packaging waste. She makes it clear that the key is to find the most efficient balance between the package and the level of food waste that package provokes. 
The food waste problem my team is working on is reducing food waste among meal plan enrolled college students. Because most of the food these students consumer is prepared by restaurants, a lot of the packaging waste is never seen. However, many students take food to go, and in this scenario the package waste is pretty bad. There are reusable to-go container recycling programs, but so far they have been mostly unsuccessful outside of the buffet style dining hall location. In some restaurants portion sizes are decoupled from packaging sizes because of pay-by-weight self serve models, producing unnecessary waste. I think the most  obvious way to use packaging as a solution to our problem is through organic wast collection. If we had organic waste receptacles which would accept food waste as well as biodegradable food packaging materials, it would be easier to keep the waste stream pure. Biodegradable utensils and other to-go packaging materials are already available, and all these items could be thrown away at once after a meal, with all waste going into one recycling (for energy) stream. 


It was interesting to see how

It was interesting to see how much work gets put into the packaging design and how that design can influences other factors such as food waste and environmental aspects. One part I thought was funny was when she talked about the aesthetics of packaging and how it tricks the consumer into buying something they don't actually want or need because I'm thinking "OH I do that all the time, buying something because the packaging is so pretty". I also find the food waste chart she showed and how rice is the highest wasted food at 92% due to leftovers and not because of bad taste, moldy, etc. which is not much of a surprise because that is something I notice a lot with rice, pasta, etc. a lot of starchy food items. 
Packaging can play a huge role in my teams project on food waste in Haiti because we have already identified that storage and transportation is a big factor in food waste. Packaging that are able to ventilate or can keep food longer can be very beneficial to reducing food waste. Products such as meat and fish can be kept longer and fresher. For fruits, I was thinking containers with secparated sections so the fruits aren't touching or bumping into each other during transportation. It will also make it easier to transport if they are all kept stable because as we know the roads in Haiti aren't the most reliable. Definitely something interesting to look into, at first we were thinking maybe a storage system but this may be easier and more acheivable to implement...