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Packaging prevents food waste

European food experts identify packaging as an important tool to help extend the shelf life of food.
FILED IN:  Sustainability  > Supply chain

 “Increases in packaging of a couple of grams can prevent food waste that has a much bigger environmental impact,” says Andrew Parry from WRAP (a group whose goal is working together for a world without waste) in the UK.

Even though Europeans implement packaging solutions to protect food and keep it fresh for longer, households still decide not to eat one third of the food they purchase.  This costs every family in Europe 565 euros every year.

Popular thinking in recent years has pushed to reduce the quantity of packaging citing damages to the environment. But evidence now shows that “Food waste has a 10-fold greater environmental impact than the packaging around it," says Parry.

In developing countries, the problem of food waste is also challenging. Selina Juul of Stop Wasting Food says that “In Sub-Saharan Africa, food capable of feeding 48 million people is wasted annually post-harvest, with lack of packaging and poor infrastructure being the main causes, and this is before it even reaches consumers.”

Angelika Christ, Secretary General for FEFCO (European Federation of Corrugated Board Manufacturers) sums it all up this way: “Packaging alone can’t solve the food waste problem but as part of a suite of tools, packaging is a key element to prevent food from spoiling and to keep it in perfect shape”.

Watch the video [Link: ] to hear expert views on food waste and how to prevent it.

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