RNS Quote of the Day: 08/01/07

Day #3 and Myth #3 from PERC 


Contrary to current wisdom, packaging can reduce total rubbish produced. The average household in the United States generates one third less trash each year than does the average household in Mexico, partly because packaging reduces breakage and food waste. Turning a live chicken into a meal creates food waste. When chickens are processed commercially, the waste goes into marketable products (such as pet food), instead of into a landfill. Commercial processing of 1,000 chickens requires about 17 pounds of packaging, but it also recycles at least 2,000 pounds of by-products.

The gains from packaging have been growing over time, because companies have been reducing the weight of the packages they use. During the late 1970s and 1980s, although the number of packages entering landfills rose substantially, the total weight of those discards declined by 40 percent. Over the past 25 years the weights of individual packages have been reduced by amounts ranging from 30 percent (2- liter soft drink bottles) to 70 percent (plastic grocery sacks and trash bags). Even aluminum beverage cans weigh 40 percent less than they used to.

Your food has to come in something. Be it an aluminum can or a plastic wrapper. Most foods cannot come wrapped in its own packaging like a cantaloupe. But one of their goals is to stop people from eating meat and getting their protein supply. The protein supply that helps them make rational decisions.

By the way, 30 cubic yards of uncrushed aluminum 12oz. cans weighs approximately 500lbs.

That is less than AlGore.

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2 Responses to RNS Quote of the Day: 08/01/07

  1. Chris says:

    I’d rather the article writer use mass as a measurement than weight. Are we to assume that less weight = less mass?

  2. Phil says:

    Not in all things, Chris, but weight is how the material going into a landfill is measured.

    He’s trying to keep the apples with the apples.

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