FIGHTING FOOD WASTE

One third of the food produced in the world goes to waste each year. That’s enough to feed 870 million hungry people and represents $990 billion lost annually1. When food is lost, so is the opportunity to distribute it to families in need in addition to the loss of natural resources used to produce it, like water, land and energy sources.

THE ROLE OF PLASTIC PACKAGING

Food waste can happen before a product reaches the market, the consumer or the dinner table. Without the proper packaging, products are vulnerable to a variety of environmental factors that can cause spoilage or reduce quality. Plastic packaging can help protect and preserve food while using fewer resources than alternative materials like glass and paper2.

Plastic packaging:

  • Extends shelf-life and helps to prevent food from spoiling
  • Protects food from damage along the supply chain
  • Provides consumers with the right portion size and “resealability”
  • Enables consumers to completely empty the package

Advances in packaging design and its ability to extend shelf-life can divert up to 280,000 tons of food from the landfill each year in the United States alone. That’s nearly $161 million in savings3.

1 Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
2 American Chemistry Council
3 ReFED

Our Impact

Through Dow’s 2025 Sustainability Goals, we aim to redefine the role of business in society and address food waste and food insecurity through packaging innovations and collaborations.

Our Impact Pack Studios

We combine the passion and expertise of our people with world-class research facilities and Pack Studios to inform customers and brand owners of the best combination of packaging design and formulation that can help keep food fresher, longer.

Our Impact Wrapped Peppers

We bring together food science and material science to enable plastic packaging that extends shelf-life. Did you know, green peppers sealed in plastic packaging can last up to five times longer than if they were unwrapped?4 That means twenty days instead of four to transport, sell and enjoy your food.

Our Impact Cheese

Our flexible plastic packaging solutions also help consumers save food for later, keeping food fresher and safer longer. Plastic packaging also allows a range of portion sizes to help meet the needs of different lifestyles. Right-sized portions means less waste. These advancements ultimately contribute to reducing food waste.

Community Engagement

Community Engagement Logo 

Houston Food Bank Engagement

Our volunteers and donations are enabling the Houston Food Bank to deliver nutritious meals to Houston’s most food endangered community members. We’ve worked with customers since 2014 to provide the food bank with plastic packaging made from Dow products – including stretch film, zippered bags and collapsible and wheeled bins – to help the food bank lower costs and increase efficiency.

In 2016, we contributed volunteer hours, monetary donations and in-kind donations equivalent to over 800,000 nutritious meals for the Houston community.

Packaging End-of-Life

Packaging End of Life Almonds 

We believe that there's no reason to send plastic packaging to a landfill when they can be mechanically recycled or have their energy recovered. This is why we’re helping to close the loop on plastic waste with our RecycleReady Technology and the Hefty® EnergyBag™ program, an initiative that collects, sorts and coverts previously non-recycled plastics into alternative energy resources.

The Human Element

The curiosity and creativity of our specialists help create innovative products and solutions to solve complex global challenges, including food waste prevention.

Human Element Haley 

Haley Lowry

Global Marketing and Sustainability Director

Haley serves on the Board of the Houston Food Bank and actively participates in the Food Waste Reduction Alliance and AMERIPEN Food Waste Council. In these roles, she offers a unique perspective on reducing food waste through packaging innovations and gains valuable insights from across industries and sectors.

Haley was previously recognized in the annual Plastics News feature, “Women Breaking the Mold” for her drive to create shared value, specifically in terms of packaging as a key solution to prevent food waste and drive a circular economy through its design. Her passion to collaborate beyond the private sector and leverage Dow’s innovations for positive impact on the planet and society are what characterizes our people and the Human Element.

Human Element Larry 

Larry Effler

Technical Service & Development Scientist

Larry has championed the relationship between Dow and the Houston Food Bank since its beginning. His drive to do good for the community led him to coordinate the first in-kind donation of stretch film made from Dow product in 2014. The contribution helped the food bank lower costs and more safely distribute food to community members in need.

Larry continues to look for opportunities where Dow can collaborate with the food bank to provide solutions. He’s worked with various customers on additional in-kind donations over the years and has taken the lead on organizing volunteer efforts across Dow’s Texas locations. His passion to create a positive impact in the community is what characterizes our people and the Human Element.

Human Element Sydney Hansen 

Sydney Hansen

Technical Service & Development Scientist

Sydney’s background in food science has helped Dow identify gaps in the food packaging market and develop capacity to better meet the needs of consumers and the value chain. She has worked with colleagues, customers and brand owners to advance the Company’s shelf-life testing capabilities and is currently conducting research on how various packaging designs and formulations can help reduce food waste.

Sydney’s ability to spot opportunities for growth and innovation have helped to advance Dow’s offerings and contributions to reducing food waste. Her drive to use business as a tool to do good for the planet and society is what characterizes our people and the Human Element.

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