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Pactiv Evergreen Completed New Study to Compare Environmental Impacts of Various Meat Trays

Company Aims to Support Customers’ Purchasing Decisions and Prepare for Potential Market Shifts

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (June 21, 2023) – Pactiv Evergreen completed a life cycle assessment (“LCA”) to measure the environmental impacts of various meat trays made from seven different materials, including trays made with and without recycled content. The purpose of the LCA is to support our customers by presenting alternative materials and assessing their impact on the environment, and to prepare for potential market shifts.

Key Takeaways

  • Foam polystyrene meat trays with 30% recycled content have the least overall environmental impact, and foam polystyrene meat trays without recycled content have the second least overall environmental impact.
  • Wood molded fiber trays have the greatest environmental impact.
  • Using recycled content lessens the overall environmental impact.
  • Trays made of foamed resin have a lower environmental impact than trays made of non-foamed resin because less material is used in production.

“As the largest supplier of meat trays in North America, we are well positioned to meet the changing needs of our customers,” said Eric Wulf, President of Pactiv Evergreen’s Food and Beverage Merchandising business unit. “These results will help inform our customers as they make purchasing decisions in the future.”

The study examined fossil fuel use, greenhouse gas emissions, water use plus five other environmental factors, considering all impacts from material extraction through disposal by the consumer. References to environmental impact in this release are to impact as measured by the LCA.

LCA Results
Foam polystyrene meat trays perform the best versus the other materials due to their lower density and weight. The foam polystyrene tray, when compared to the wood molded fiber tray, had an average reduction of 76% across all environmental indicators. Compared to the wood molded fiber tray, the foam polystyrene tray with 30% recycled content had an average reduction across all eight environmental indicators of 80%.

About the LCA
Pactiv Evergreen used Trayak’s LCA software, EcoImpact-COMPASS, to conduct the study, which was then subject to third party peer review conforming to ISO 14071. Trayak’s mission is to provide easy-to-use decision tools that can be embedded in companies’ mainstream product and packaging development, manufacturing and launch processes.

The COMPASS® method is used to calculate the environmental impacts for all packaging systems. This method consists of eight indicators to provide a full picture view of the impact across different categories and considerations.

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About Pactiv Evergreen Inc.

Pactiv Evergreen Inc. (NASDAQ: PTVE) is a leading manufacturer and distributor of fresh foodservice and food merchandising products and fresh beverage cartons in North America. With a team of approximately 14,500 employees, the company produces a broad range of on-trend and feature-rich products that protect, package and display food and beverages for today’s consumers. Its products, many of which are made with recycled, recyclable or renewable materials, are sold to a diversified mix of customers, including restaurants, foodservice distributors, retailers, food and beverage producers, packers and processors. Learn more at

Beth Kelly

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