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Abbreviated food packaging saves producers millions in plastic

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CHICAGO Simple modifications such as slimmer, lighter water bottles, reduced cap sizes on recloseable soft drink bottles and smaller-sized salad dressing containers are saving food makers millions of dollars, according to some major U.S. food distribution and production companies.

According to reports, companies such as Kraft Foods and Atlanta-based Coca-Cola have slimmed down plastic containers and cap sizes and shaved off a penny here and there from each food item they produce. Coke and Dasani water bottle caps, for examples, have been trimmed to be 24 percent more lightweight than those produced about a year ago. Also, Kraft’s salad dressing bottles have been redesigned to now use 19 percent less plastic. The smaller bottlers also require less packaging for shipping because they take up less space.

Some companies have said that these seemingly minute changes to packaging may help offset the steadily rising costs of food commodities that have been causing the nationwide inflation in food prices to speed up since the 1990s.

Coca-Cola has said that last year it reduced its plastic usage by 4 million pounds due to the design of the smaller cap. Kraft said that its plastic consumption was cut by around 3.4 million pounds per year by the remodel of its salad dressing bottles.

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