Reduced Material Usage Per Product Unit

Reducing the amount of material used in a product means less waste is generated when the product is discarded. Consumers can apply this waste reduction approach in their shopping habits by purchasing packaged products in large container sizes. For example, the weight-to-volume ratio of a metal can for a sample food product declines from 5.96 with an 8-oz container (single serving size) to 3.17 with a 101-oz (institutional) size.

Other methods for reducing the material per product unit include:

Using wrenches, screwdrivers, nails, and other hardware available in loose bins. Purchasing grocery items, such as tomatoes, garlic, and mushrooms, unpackaged rather than prepackaged containers. Using large or economy-size items of household products that are used frequently, such as laundry soap, shampoo, baking soda, pet foods, and cat litter. Choosing the largest size of food items that can be used before spoiling.

Using concentrated products. They often require less packaging and less energy to transport to the store, saving money as well as natural resources. When appropriate, using products that are already on hand to do household chores. Using these products can save on the packaging associated with additional products.

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