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Tetra Pak UK Report Outlines Importance of Decarbonizing Food Systems in Reaching Net Zero

New research reveals businesses and consumers are determined not to lose sight of net zero ambitions, particularly those that can be achieved through the decarbonization of food systems.


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New findings from a recent study of food and beverage managers, directors, and business owners, found that despite more than a third (36%) considering the pursuit of sustainable packaging as important, 41% currently face supply chain challenges or disruption. Shortages of raw materials and price increases were cited as key factors currently hindering efforts to adopt sustainable packaging options. Recognizing the need to embrace more sustainable methods of food production and consumption, whilst reducing food waste and loss throughout the system, a quarter (24%) still believe sustainability should be their organization’s top priority in 2023.

These findings come as efforts to foster better development of sustainable and innovative solutions gain momentum across Europe, with ambitions to reduce the generation of packaging waste by making all packaging, recyclable and reusable by 2030.

An effective new approach to feeding growing populations will be heavily reliant on consumer engagement and behavior in 2023 and beyond, and in a separate study commissioned by Tetra Pak, consumers in the UK and Ireland have high levels of support for companies demonstrating a commitment to lowering their carbon footprints and offering sustainable packaging options.

Interestingly, over two thirds (70%) also now believe packaging companies have a responsibility to the public to create and develop sustainable packaging, with over a third believing strongly so. Such high levels of support are a clear indication that decisive action must be taken swiftly to address the ways food and drink are currently produced, consumed, packaged and disposed of.

The UK Government is currently lending support where possible, taking strides to transform the farm to fork pathway with leading sustainability initiatives alongside efforts being pursued by producers within the food and drink industry. However, to be as effective as possible, these require close collaboration between policymakers, industry, and consumers.

Almost a third (30%) of food and beverage managers, directors, and business owners surveyed by Tetra Pak believe the topics of sustainability and climate change can only be meaningfully addressed with cross-sector collaboration and support from policy makers. This sentiment is echoed by consumers, with over half (56%) stating the UK Government should do more in the next 12 months to raise awareness of sustainability issues and recycling processes amongst the general public.

Alex Henriksen, Managing Director North Europe, Tetra Pak, commented: "The food and beverage industry faces an unprecedented set of evolving challenges in the year ahead. It is therefore encouraging to see that despite such pressures, businesses and consumers alike remain determined to focus on the decarbonization of food systems.

“At Tetra Pak, through continued innovation, we have created a reality of not only being able to replace or reduce our consumption of foods which have higher carbon impacts, but being able to package these in a way that embraces renewable, low carbon materials. We must pursue these opportunities with accelerated determination to make the vital gains that our planet needs. We remain committed to helping our customers achieve their sustainability goals, and look forward to continuing to work together with governments and industry to drive meaningful change and pursue a more sustainable future.” 

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