Reducing Food Waste - Save Food

Recent studies done by the United Nation’s FAO indicate that about one third of all food produced globally is wasted! This occurs in both developing and developed economies although the reasons and location in the food chain where this waste occurs differs.

What is not often realised is that without the advanced packaging systems available today, the amount of food “wasted” would be a lot higher than it is today. Whilst packaging is often criticised by consumers for the amount of “packaging waste”, it seldom is praised for the valuable role it plays in delivering and protecting the food that we see in our supermarkets and homes today.

Flexible packaging is very effective in protecting food as it is easily customisable to meet the specific product protection requirements with the minimum amount of packaging. In this way flexible packaging can not only help reduce food waste by offering optimum protection, it also does this producing the lowest amount of packaging waste.

A significant cause of waste in the developed world is over preparation and through food packed in opened bulk packs perishing before it can all be consumed. Flexible packaging lends itself to easy portioning of the food into single serving sizes so that only the food required is opened hereby allowing the remaining portions of food to stay fully protected by the flexible packaging for longer. For more about Save Food please follow this link.

For more information on the Food and Drink Europe’s Every Crumb Counts campaign please follow this link

Examples of how flexible packaging reduces food waste

PACKAGING – A BRIEF HISTORY OF RECENT EVENTS PRE 1990

In the latter half of the 20th century consumer attention was increasingly focused on the “mountains” of packaging waste either being buried in landfills or burned. The realization that Europe was running out of landfill capacity combined with the potential risks/issues from uncontrolled burning of waste which included packaging, resulted in the demonizing of packaging as the “Sinner of the 20th century”. Positively, it also resulted in the German Packaging Ordinance (implemented as the DSD) in 1990 and the EU’s Packaging & Packaging Waste Directive in 1994.

20 YEARS LATER …AND A LOT OF PROGRESS!

From this “pit of public opinion”, all parts of the packaging and related industries have worked to progressively and collaboratively decouple packaging waste from economic growth; by lowering pack weights and by developing increasingly sophisticated packaging collection, sorting and recycling systems for all packaging materials.

Download the “Sinner to Saint” journey here