An average American family discards about 8.3 pounds of paperboard cereal boxes a year. However, if this cereal was purchased in flexible plastic bags without the box, only 1.4 pounds of packaging would be discarded.
A laundry detergent flexible pouch weighs 85 percent less than a plastic bottle. The amount of packaging is 84 percent less.
Packaging juice in a flexible box, instead of a glass bottle, reduces the weight of the product by 90 percent. The amount of packaging is reduced 70 percent.
On average, after recycling, that same family also sends 4.2 pounds a year of steel coffee cans to a landfill while a family using foil "brick packs" would only be sending 0.9 pounds. Also, the family using "brick packs" sends less material by volume to landfills than the family using steel cans. Packaging in steel cans gets pretty heavy. The American Plastics Council estimates that to package 65 pounds of coffee in a steel can would weigh 17 pounds. To package the same amount of coffee in a foil/plastic laminate brick pack would only weigh three pounds. That not only gives you more product in less package, it also saves transportation costs and saves fuel. Lighter materials reduce the weight of truck payloads and allow companies to ship more products in fewer trucks. Less trucks mean less gas.
* Partners for Environmental Progress, 1994