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Sonoco, Clemson form partnership to combat food waste

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Sonoco and Clemson University have formed a research partnership to develop new technologies and forms of packaging to optimize food freshness and combat waste.

The Hartsville-based global diversified packaging company will contribute $1.7 million during a five-year period to the FRESH (Food Research Excellence for Safety and Health) initiative. Sonoco will also sponsor research projects totaling $1 million.

“Each year, the food industry loses $15.6 billion due to food spoilage at retail,” said Sonoco president and CEO Jack Sanders in a news release. “Modifying packaging design to extend shelf life by even one day can recover $1.8 billion of that loss while feeding more people and reducing waste to landfills.”

FRESH is an extension of the partnership that created the Sonoco Institute of Packaging Design and Graphics at Clemson. 

“Working with outstanding industry partners like Sonoco allows us to do more to develop solutions for the grand challenges facing the world, and it helps us to prepare our students to become future leaders,” Clemson University President James P. Clements said. “Leveraging the expertise of our faculty, Sonoco FRESH will play a key role in exposing our undergraduate and graduate students to issues related to the crisis of food waste and sustainability so that they will be informed and responsible decision makers as they enter the workforce.”

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