Reducing Food Waste with Innovative Packaging


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We throw away 7.2 million tonnes of food and drink every year, the majority of which could have been eaten, at a cost of £12bn per year. Unclear labels and poor packaging functionality such as non re-closable adds to this problem. Read our presentation to find out how innovative packaging can reduce waste and improve freshness.

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Reducing Food Waste with Innovative Packaging

  1. 1. Reducing Food Waste Reducing Food Waste With Innovative Packaging With Innovative Packaging Brought to you by
  2. 2. Reducing food waste with innovative packaging In today’s modern world, consumers care about the environment, about recycling, and in the current economic climate, they care greatly about their budgets and outgoings too. For years, recycling has been at the top of the agenda for many organisations, and people are now recycling more than ever. Packaging has changed and become more environmentally friendly and consumers are fully supporting these developments by actively seeking products with eco-conscious packaging. Every year the average household throws away food worth However, a new challenge has arisen and it has consumers and businesses alike looking for innovative solutions… food waste. “Throwing away food ‘not used in time’ is costing consumers £6.7 billion a year (£270 for the average household)” – WRAP. In this publication we’ll discuss the scale of the food waste crisis and the possible solutions to be found in pioneering food packaging technology. WRAP have estimated that food and packaging waste in the grocery retail supply chain amounts to £6.9 billion
  3. 3. Food waste “Food waste is a major issue. We throw away 7.2 million tonnes of food and drink from our homes every year, the majority of which could have been eaten. It’s costing us £12bn a year and is bad for the environment too” – Love Food Hate Waste. Food wastage in homes can be caused by a number of reasons… mostly relating to the packaging: The statistic shown above goes someway to emphasising how bad this epidemic has become. But the message needs to be spread far and wide, and solutions implemented quickly. • Unclear label information such as dates and storage guidelines • Bad functionality such as non re-closable (which can ensure longer freshness) • Re-closable packaging not explaining the inherent benefits well enough to the consumer Unclear label information Bad functionality Not explaining packaging We throw away 7.2 million tonnes of food and drink every year, the majority of which could have been eaten. Food waste According to Love Food Hate Waste, UK residents now throw away more food than packaging from homes each year. This level of food waste means that more food has to be produced to keep up with demand, which in turn places a greater strain on the supply chain. As the supply chain works harder, the environmental costs begin to rise too such as CO2 emissions and energy usage.
  4. 4. Facts and Figures When it comes to illustrating the extent of a problem, nothing speaks louder than the cold hard facts. So, below are some interesting figures that show just how bad the problem of food waste has become... “The best estimate is around a third of the world’s food is lost or wasted” -Philip Clarke, Chief Executive of Tesco. Listen to the numbers An estimated 20% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions come from the production, transportation and storage of food and drink About 25% of the food that is thrown away and that could have been eaten, is fresh fruit and vegetables 10% of rich countries’ greenhouse gas emissions come from growing food that is never eaten 61% of that waste is avoidable, meaning that 4.4 million tonnes of the food in our bins doesn’t necessarily have to be there Britain could run out of landfill space by 2018 unless we start to reduce the amount of waste In the UK, every 1 tonne of food waste thrown away needlessly is responsible for 4.5 tonnes of CO2 emissions
  5. 5. Eating Alone The number of people living by themselves and having dinners for one has nearly doubled over the last 40 years – With more and more people living alone, the need for re-closable and individually portioned packaging is essential. With food less likely to be shared and the consumption time increased, people living on their own may find it difficult to consume products within the recommended life span. With the potential for large food wastage, this is an excellent opportunity to discuss the energy cost to feed one person. In the book ‘Table for One’ (by INCPEN), the amount of energy needed to supply food to a shop, be bought by the consumer and then cooked is measured against a number of food types (for one person). The unit of measurement throughout the book is megajoules per week (MJ/wk), and one megajoule is the equivalent of the energy needed to light an energy saving light bulb for 24 hours. The food supply chain uses over 300% more energy to feed one person in a week than the energy that person would use on lighting in the same time frame. Other interesting statistics from the book include: • Growing wheat to make the flour to produce bread accounts for 46% of the energy in the supply chain (energy for one person’s weekly consumption of bread) • The energy a person gets in a week from eating fish (a salmon steak) is 0.6 MJ. The energy required to produce and deliver that fish ‘from field to fork’ is 17 MJ • The amount of energy needed to supply meat and meat products to one person per week is 104 MJ Suffice to say, with this level of energy usage for one person, it is vital that the food stays fresher for longer, allowing the person to consume all of it and reduce any wastage. 46%
  6. 6. Fight it Combating Food waste To combat the problems of packaging and food waste in the UK, the Courtauld Commitment was established. This voluntary agreement is aimed at improving resource efficiency and reducing waste within the UK grocery sector and is funded by Westminster, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland governments and delivered by WRAP. So far, 49 leading retailers, brands and manufacturers have signed up to the agreement and its objectives. Currently in its third phase, the Courtauld Commitment is predicted to achieve a cumulative reduction of 1.1 million tonnes of waste, 2.9 million tonnes of CO2(e) and a cost benefit of £1.6 billion to consumers, the food and drink sector and local authorities. According to the Courtauld • Manufacturing and retail Commitment 3, optimising target: Reduce traditional packaging has been a great grocery ingredient, success and will continue, but product and packaging there are limited opportunities waste in the grocery to reduce it further without supply chain by 3% risking increased product wastage. Now the focus is on • Packaging target: improving design to optimise Improve packaging recycled content, increasing design through the recyclability and helping to supply chain to maximise reduce food waste. recycled content as appropriate, improve The agreement will run until recyclability and deliver 2015 and the outcomes product protection to will be measured against reduce food waste, while the 2012 benchmarks. The ensuring there is no campaign objectives include: increase in the carbon impact of packaging • Household food and drink target: Reduce household food and drink waste by 5% “1.2 Mt (metric tons) of packaging and food waste prevented, the equivalent of filling 128,000 waste refuse lorries” - Results of the Courtauld Commitment 1 This agreement is a green light for the most innovative packaging producers to start designing industry-leading products that provide: Protection Meal Convenience Freshness Protection Freshness Monitering Better Portioning
  7. 7. Packaging Innovations There are times when we may not even notice the packaging that our food comes in, but it’s been changing over the past few years to help reduce waste and improve lasting freshness. A prime example of this new food waste-conscious packaging is the Kenco Eco Refil Bag. By providing ground coffee in bags instead of glass jars; Kenco was able to reduce packaging waste by 97% and reduce energy consumption by 81% (compared to the amount needed to produce glass jars). Other examples of eco-friendly and socially conscious packaging are re-closable cheese, fridge packs for baked beans and split packs to enable part consumption now and some later. As mentioned earlier, more people are living alone which is why you’ll also see smaller portions of food such as half-sized loaves of bread. Other changes in packaging which have been implemented to reduce food waste relate to better labelling. With these types of developments in the packing industry and the guidelines of the Courtauld Commitment, we should soon start to see a significant reduction in the amount of food waste produced each year. Use by Best before Storage advice Freeze before • Retailers and brands are removing ‘display until’ dates so that the ‘best before’ and most importantly ‘use by’ dates are easier to see • More products have moved to a ‘best before’ date from a ‘use by’ date, giving the flexibility to use the product after the date • Most food packs have detailed storage advice, highlighting where to store food to keep it at its best • Retailers and brands are moving away from ‘freeze on day of purchase’ to ‘freeze before the date’, giving more time to freeze food 97% less waste An unwrapped cucumber loses moisture and becomes unsaleable in 3 days. Just 1.5 grams of wrapping keeps it fresh for 14 days - INCPEN
  8. 8. Sudpack Solutions One of the companies at the forefront of the move towards innovative food packaging is Sudpack. With over 50 years’ experience of implementing new ideas and technologies, Sudpack are capable of creating packaging that reduces food waste, improves freshness and provides the utmost convenience to the consumer. Some of the re-closable and innovative packaging ideas that Sudpack have created are shown below. better portioning and convenient cooking for the consumer. They also help to reduce the amount of packaging waste and the amount of energy used in the package production process. If you’d like to discuss your food packaging needs and how you can provide longer freshness, and improved convenience while reducing packaging and food waste? Visit or speak to one of our experts on 0845 094 6032 These packaging solutions help to ensure better food protection; longer freshness; Visit Snap on lid The resealing sticker Reseal-it The resealing sticker on hard or tubular bag packaging LapSeal Resealing with adhesive strip Multipeel® Co-extruded Multipeel® seal layers provide the freedom to adjust to individual requirements Plastic cans A convincing alternative to traditional packaging material Rigid films Strong and multifunctional; this packaging solution is suitable for thermoforming applications or speak to one of our experts on 0845 094 6032