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Why is food wrapped in plastic inside plastic?

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

reduce plastic packaging

Story at-a-glance -

  • Fresh produce, which comes in its own biodegradable “packaging,” is often wrapped in plastic or bundled into plastic bags and containers
  • In 2015, 34.5 million tons of plastic were generated in the U.S., accounting for 13.1% of municipal solid waste (MSW) generation
  • Plastics are found in all MSW categories, but containers and packaging have the most plastic, coming in at 14 million tons in 2015
  • In the case of plastic packaging, 95% of the material value, an estimated $80 billion to $120 billion annually, is lost after its first usage
  • In the U.S., only 3.1 million tons — or 9.1% — of plastic was recycled in 2015

In the U.S., plastic is still largely considered to be an integral and necessary part of daily life. A stroll through any grocery store will reveal this unhealthy plastic dependence not only in the form of plastic grocery bags but also in the food packaging itself.

Fresh produce, which comes in its own biodegradable “packaging,” is often wrapped in plastic or bundled into plastic bags and containers. Ears of corn come shucked and wrapped in Styrofoam and plastic; garlic cloves are peeled and shrink wrapped; even apples are sliced and packaged in baggies.


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