Should Retailers Choose to Use Sustainable Packaging to Reduce their Carbon Footprint?
Plastic packaging includes advantages such as durability, water resistance, insulation, affordability, convenience, and shelf stability (Soares et al., 2021). However, plastic can end up in landfills, plastic substances can transfer into the food, and toxic gasses are released when creating the plastic packaging (Acquavia et al., 2021). The production of single-use plastic by retailers shows various environmental concerns and also proves to be deleterious to our health, in addition to being responsible for a large amount of plastic pollution. The food industry contributes to this problem greatly, since many of these items come in single-use containers or wrappers (Herrmann et al., 2022). For instance, one plastic bag takes ten thousand years to biodegrade (Johnson, 2019), and the damage caused by pollutants and climate change are permanent (Bauermeister, 2021). There are much more environmentally friendly materials that can be used such as cornstarch or mushrooms (Johnson, 2019). This research aims to determine if large retailers, such as Aldi, Trader Joe's, and Walmart, should choose to use sustainable packaging to reduce their carbon footprint?