Watt Watchers of Texas: Texas is Too Good To Waste™

Activity: Food Container Waste

Grade Level:

Activity Overview: How often do you eat pre-packaged food? Some of the containers for pre-packaged food are made of plastic that cannot be recycled and only end up in a landfill. So what can you do to reduce your plastic waste?

  • Think about what you buy. Does the food you buy come in non-recyclable plastic? Ask yourself if you could get the same food without wasting plastic. For example, instead of buying individually wrapped frozen food, you could make a bulk meal and store it in reusable individual containers.
  • Buy in bulk. Can the food you buy in pre-packaged containers be bought in bulk and stored in reusable containers?

There are real, easy ways to reduce the waste that you generate on a daily basis. Plastic takes energy to create and to dispose of. When you are intentional about how to reduce your waste, it helps you to reduce energy as well.


As a class or in small groups, make a list of foods that come in lots of packaging (outside box, inside bag, individual wrappers, lids and bases, etc.). Then brainstorm ways to reduce landfill-destined packaging either by switching the food itself or by changing the packaging. Encourage creativity with these ideas. Even if the idea is unfeasible or still requires packaging, thinking through packaging in the food sector is an important step in reducing overall energy consumption and waste.

For example, one can purchase yogurt at the grocery store in a cup with a lid in a multipack of many tethered together in another box or wrapper. Alternatively, one can make a batch of yogurt at home or purchase a large store-bought container of yogurt. This can create multiple single-servings of yogurt in bowls at home or portioned into school lunches by dividing into smaller plastic or glass containers that can be washed and reused.


SCI.6.1B, SCI.7.1B, SCI.8.1B

Watt Watchers of Texas is a Partner Program of Smart Energy Education.
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