Why-a-forum-on-food-packaging

In January 2014, as part of our Sustainable Food Production Inquiry, the Invisible Tigers gathered data on what materials were used to make our food packaging and how many of each. We found the following categories- plastic, reusable, metal, paper, tetra pack and tin foil. We discovered that on a given day there were thirty nine of our snack items that were wrapped in plastic. Many of us realised that this was a lot and that plastic, when it ends up in landfill trash dumps, can take hundreds of years to bio degrade and become soil.

The black bar is for plastic items of food packaging and shows a value of thirty nine. The next biggest is the blue bar which is reusable containers. It has a value of fourteen.

The black bar is for plastic items of food packaging and shows a value of thirty nine. The next biggest is the blue bar which is reusable containers. It has a value of fourteen.

As the Sustainable Food Production Unit unfolded we came up with many ways to try to recycle our trash from food packaging.

We set up a new recycling system in our class for our trash.

We set up a new recycling system in our class for our trash.

However many of us went further and began talking to our parents and helpers at home about how we would like too use less packaging in our snacks. Especially plastic.

So in May 2014 we began wondering how we could measure the change in our food consumption with packaging. We decided to collect the data and compare the two graphs. We were amazed and pleased to see that plastic had dropped to number two and reusable had grown to a new number one position. But we know we could do even better!

Now Reusable is the most common food packaging in our class with thirty two. Plastic is now second with 25. Thats fourteen less pieces of plastic that go to the dump site from our class every day!

Now Reusable (pink bar) is the most common food packaging in our class with thirty two. Plastic (black bar) is now second with 25. That’s fourteen less pieces of plastic that go to the dump site from our class every day!

Here are some pictures of our class sorting our snacks into material categories for the packaging and then counting them to give us our data.

photo 1 (11) photo 2 (11) photo 3 (7) photo 4 (7)

What can we do at home to reduce how much packaging is wasted? For example instead of buying individually wrapped mini packs, could we buy, bigger value packs and bring in our snacks from them in reusable containers? We could do this for our food at home too!