Home Insights & Advice Reducing food waste: The solution is packaging

Reducing food waste: The solution is packaging

by John Saunders
30th Jul 21 11:20 am

Our environment and the way we treat our planet is a topic very much at the forefront of discussion in today’s world. Not only are we looking at ways to reduce our waste in terms of packaging and consumer products, but we’re also now focusing more than ever before on food waste – and quite rightly so. Around 30% of all food is wasted. This has been the case for at least 50 years. The amount of food we waste amounts to around a 2.6 trillion dollar cost and rather frighteningly, could feed the world’s hungry population four times over. With such startling statistics, it’s no wonder that we’re now paying more attention to food waste and what we can do.

Food loss or food waste

Generally speaking, food loss and food waste both refer to the decrease in quantity or quality of food, and will occur throughout the supply chain of food that’s intended for human consumption. The term we’re referring to specifically however is food waste. Food waste refers to the food that completes the food chain. This is the food in restaurants, on supermarket shelves and in the consumer’s home. Despite being of good quality and obviously fit for consumption, it may still not get eaten and ultimately wasted. This can happen for a multitude of reasons, resulting in food being left to spoil or simply expire.

What can we do?

With such emphasis on sustainability throughout the globe, it’s no wonder that people are asking what can be done to reduce the amount of food that’s wasted. It’s these types of questions that not only open up vital discussions about what we can. It also helps to highlight  the interconnectedness of global food supply chains and how important it is for producers, consumers and governments to get to grips with the problem. Only by working together can we achieve a more sustainable food supply chain that reduces the amount of food waste overall.

How can packaging help?

It also highlights a very important point, in that the food packaging industry needs to focus more on food waste prevention as opposed to reduction. Packaging is a hugely important aspect of any supply chain. Not only will the right food packaging help prevent food from spoiling, long before it normally would, but it can also help provide a certain level of protection throughout the supply chain, to the supermarket shelf and beyond the consumer’s home. It’s by offering this protection and a seal to ensure freshness that food can be consumed, when it may otherwise be thrown away.

One must not forget that profit could certainly be a driving force here. For the food industry, less food waste means much more profit. By utilising the right packaging, the food industry could see an increase in efficiency as well as revenue. The correct packaging can also help reduce unsalable products which would lead to more food being sold to consumers as opposed to being blocked from display and ultimately thrown away.

While reducing food waste after the consumer has purchased food could ultimately lead to a decrease in food sales, it would also mean a much stronger trust is built between consumer and the packaging industry as a whole.

Choosing the right packaging

Packaging needs to offer multiple benefits to ensure food is protected  during transit and is sealed to prevent moisture leaving the food itself, as well as moisture or contaminants affecting the product. While the world is trying to resist its use of single-use plastic such as shrink wrap, there are actually sustainable options out there – one being compostable shrink wrap. Kempner are one of the UK’s leading shrink wrap manufacturers who’ve produced a compostable shrink wrap.

How shrink wrap could help reduce food waste

  • Keeping Food Fresh – shrink wrap is ideal for keeping foods fresher for longer. It does this by providing a seal around the food, preventing moisture loss from within while also keeping moisture and bacteria out of foodstuffs. This creates a much bigger window for food to be eaten and enjoyed.
  • Offering Protection – shrink wrap is ideal for keeping food secure and steady during transit. The shrink wrap quite literally wraps closely to the product and keeps it still. This means your food is less likely to fall victim to bumps and bruises and as a result, is far more likely to reach the supermarket shelf and ultimately the consumer.

Contact Kempner today

Food producers, packaging companies, supermarkets and consumers all have a huge responsibility to help in this global fight against reducing our food waste and with the right packaging, it may be easier to make a dent than we first thought. Kempner are one of the UK’s leading suppliers of shrink wrap film, and now boast a compostable shrink wrap that’s lighter and thinner than ever before. Despite its lightweight appearance, this shrink wrap is just as strong as its thicker counterpart and offers incredible protection for all products it packages. If you’d like more information on Kempner’s compostable shrink wrap and how it could help in your fight against food waste, contact them today on 020 8952 5262.

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