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Biodegradable Packaging


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Year 13 Edexcel contemporary issues

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Biodegradable Packaging

  1. 2. 5: Contemporary issues An awareness and implications of the following contemporary issues: - biodegradability of packaging materials
  3. 4. <ul><li>not all recyclable </li></ul><ul><li>cheap </li></ul><ul><li>lightweight </li></ul><ul><li>versatile </li></ul><ul><li>durable </li></ul><ul><li>Plastic (50 different groups) </li></ul><ul><li>Milk </li></ul><ul><li>ready meals </li></ul>- not water-resistant - easily damaged - easy to print on - cheap to produce - biodegradable - recyclable - can be moulded - can be coated - lightweight Card/paper - fruit-juice cartons - egg boxes - may react with food - recyclable - lightweight - impermeable - withstands heat processing Metal - soup cans - take-away containers - bottle tops - fragile - safety issues - heavy - reusable - heat-resistant - recyclable - keeps shape - low cost Glass - baby foods - salad cream - pickles
  4. 5. The facts <ul><li>The UK generates around 25 million tonnes of household waste </li></ul><ul><li>per year, much of this ends up in landfill. As part of the ‘War on </li></ul><ul><li>Waste’ campaign, there is an ongoing study of food packaging. </li></ul><ul><li>The third wave of this study investigated the food packaging </li></ul><ul><li>levels and composition on 29 common food items in the following </li></ul><ul><li>Retail outlets: ASDA, Co-op, Lidl, Marks and Spencer, </li></ul><ul><li>Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose. </li></ul><ul><li>Key findings from the third wave: </li></ul><ul><li>5% of the weight of the shopping baskets were made up of packaging </li></ul><ul><li>The average weight of packaging in a basket was 727g, but this ranged from 645.5g for the basket of items from Tesco to 802.5g for Waitrose’s basket </li></ul><ul><li>The proportion of waste packaging that was recyclable ranged from 57.8% in Lidl's basket to 66.8% in the baskets from Sainsburys </li></ul>
  5. 6. The damage we are doing <ul><li>Plastic waste causes untold damage to the </li></ul><ul><li>Environment as well as costing </li></ul><ul><li>governments millions of pounds/euros </li></ul><ul><li>every year for disposal. Plastic waste such as </li></ul><ul><li>food cartons often ends up in landfill sites </li></ul><ul><li>or discarded on the street. Incineration of </li></ul><ul><li>plastic waste causes toxic gases to pollute </li></ul><ul><li>the air. </li></ul>
  6. 7. Biodegradable <ul><li>Biodegradable means that it can be broken down </li></ul><ul><li>by the earth. </li></ul><ul><li>A biodegradable product is disposed of to the </li></ul><ul><li>earth. The microorganisms in the earth </li></ul><ul><li>(bacteria, fungi or other simple organisms), </li></ul><ul><li>break the object down by natural processes, into more basic components. </li></ul><ul><li>The end of the process results in Carbon Dioxide(CO2) and Water (H2O). </li></ul><ul><li>A 100% biodegradable product will be completely broken down, with no remain trace. </li></ul>
  7. 8. <ul><li>What schemes/initiatives are being introduced to help? </li></ul>
  8. 9. <ul><li>Symbols </li></ul><ul><li>Recycle Now - Together we can make a difference </li></ul>
  9. 10. Compostable packaging in the UK <ul><li>The UK is becoming a leading light in the introduction of compostable packaging, due to a number of specific factors: </li></ul><ul><li>Increasing Media and consumer awareness of environmental issues </li></ul><ul><li>Media anti-packaging focus </li></ul><ul><li>Dynamic retail market Response to above ‘Green wars’ ‘let’s make it happen’ mentality </li></ul>
  10. 11. Increasing consumer recycling
  11. 12. <ul><li>Who is doing what? </li></ul>
  12. 13. Solutions <ul><li>One solution to the problem is to use </li></ul><ul><li>biodegradable packaging that decomposes </li></ul><ul><li>naturally and has no harmful effects on the </li></ul><ul><li>environment. Used in conjunction with recycling </li></ul><ul><li>as a means of disposal, this technology can help </li></ul><ul><li>reduce the millions of tonnes of plastic waste </li></ul><ul><li>that accumulate every year. </li></ul>
  13. 14. Biopac <ul><li>Biopac harness state-of-the-art </li></ul><ul><li>technology to develop biodegradable and </li></ul><ul><li>compostable alternatives to </li></ul><ul><li>petrochemical based plastics. </li></ul><ul><li>Home | Biopac - Packaging with Principles </li></ul>We have a wide range of soup containers all made from sustainable board. They have many uses - not just soup but perfect for Ice Cream and other foods. Our Sandwich containers are produced from sustainable materials but where possible  we use a high percentage of recycled material.
  14. 15. <ul><li>Cornstarch is derived from cornstarch resin and that of other natural starches, which are wholly renewable and therefore a completely sustainable resource for packaging.  It is light, but durable and is safe and non-toxic. Cornstarch packaging is 100% compostable and like a vegetable, will reduce down to carbon dioxide and water. </li></ul><ul><li>Potato Starch comes from waste potatoes, not a crop grown expressly for their manufacture. The 100% compostable material contains no oil based materials, plastics or harmful toxins. It’s durable, but will break down in just 12 weeks on a compost heap, making it the ideal material for multi-use retail carrier bags or hygienic domestic disposal bags. </li></ul><ul><li>Recycled Post-Consumer Waste which is both biodegradable and compostable – and highly sustainable as a raw material.  </li></ul>
  15. 16. <ul><li>Palm Hailing from Northern India and naturally shed, the palm leaf sheaths we use for our products provide valuable employment for small village communities, in their harvesting. Palm is a versatile and fully biodegradable and compostable material that requires no chemicals, resins or dyes.  It’s hygienic, lightweight, strong and water and heat resistant; so it’s suitable for fridge/freezer storage and microwave and oven cooking (up to 220 degrees).   </li></ul><ul><li>Cane Sugarcane is a natural by-product of the sugar industry in South East Asia that would conventionally be discarded or burnt, in order to dispose of it.  It can tolerate the freezer or microwave, and won’t absorb oil or leak. </li></ul><ul><li>Wood It’s one of the oldest raw materials known to man, but to continue to use it on a large scale, we need to source it responsibly and sustainably.  Our wood products are made from timber sourced from Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC). </li></ul>
  16. 17. Abel and Cole <ul><li>......NEW OCR GCSE units 1-4New GCSE worksheetsVideosAbel_&_Cole07_Sustainability_packaging </li></ul><ul><li>How do Abel and Cole try and reduce, reuse, recycle, rethink, reuse and repair their packaging? </li></ul>
  17. 18. <ul><li>Excess food packaging; Retailer action </li></ul><ul><li>UK businesses must recycle 55% of packaging </li></ul><ul><li>Cutting down on excess food packaging can involve initial costs for a company, eg investing in new machines or methods. But even simple changes to packaging can mean savings for the manufacturer as well as the environment. </li></ul><ul><li>Legal packaging requirements: </li></ul><ul><li>Laws require packaging to be manufactured so volume and weight are limited to the minimum amount necessary to maintain required levels of safety and hygiene and for the packed product and for the consumer. </li></ul><ul><li>Large companies are also required to pay for the cost of recycling a certain percentage of the packaging they handle – so it makes sense for them to use fewer materials. </li></ul><ul><li>Each year there are packaging recovery and recycling targets for UK businesses to meet, designed to help the UK meet European targets. In 2008 businesses must recover 60% of packaging waste and recycle 55% of packaging. </li></ul>
  18. 19. <ul><li>Reducing packaging on the shelves </li></ul><ul><li>Supermarkets are taking steps to reduce excess packaging </li></ul><ul><li>Retailers have traditionally focused on reducing industrial food packaging rather than on the packs we see on the shelves. </li></ul><ul><li>The main supermarkets, for example, told us they've reduced transport packaging or switched to reusable materials for transporting foods. </li></ul><ul><li>Few companies have done the same for packaging used on the food itself, although this is starting to change for the better. </li></ul><ul><li>Supermarkets reducing excess packaging </li></ul><ul><li>Tesco has reduced the packaging of its sandwiches, saving the equivalent of one 15 tonne lorry full of waste every month. </li></ul><ul><li>In Waitrose stores 50% of organic produce is available in degradable, biodegradable and compostable packaging. </li></ul><ul><li>Asda has reduced the thickness of its plastic salad bags by 15%, and removed an unnecessary cardboard sleeve on a selection of ready meals. </li></ul><ul><li>The Co-operative has reduced the weight of glass bottles used for 26 different Co-operative wines – saving a total of 450 tonnes of glass a year </li></ul>
  19. 20. <ul><li>Future of food packaging </li></ul><ul><li>Some attempts to make food packaging more environmentally friendly work better than others.  </li></ul><ul><li>Tesco introduced biodegradable packing for organic fruit in 2001, claiming it 'could save millions of pounds in waste disposal'. But it's now used on just a few Tesco products as 'customers weren't willing to pay for more costly packaging'. </li></ul><ul><li>Some other companies are still using biodegradable packaging. And they're not limited to fruit: in Australia, Cadbury's Milk Tray chocolates are packed in plantic – a plastic made from corn starch that dissolves when wet and can be composted. </li></ul><ul><li>New laws mean we're likely to see a new generation of food packaging. 'Active' packs interact with food to prolong shelf life, while 'intelligent' packs tell you about the food's condition. </li></ul><ul><li>Such innovations may seem to add to our packaging burden, but the hope is they'll lead to less food waste – another drain on landfill space. </li></ul>
  21. 22. Research: <ul><li>Research a well known company to find out what they are doing to keep up to date with the contemporary issue of biodegradable packaging. Some examples you could research: </li></ul><ul><li>Kenco </li></ul><ul><li>Cadburys </li></ul><ul><li>Heinz </li></ul><ul><li>Kellogg's </li></ul><ul><li>Walkers </li></ul><ul><li>McDonalds </li></ul>What schemes have they tried? How much has it cost them? Have the schemes worked? What are the benefits/implications? Do they feel there are no issues with their packaging?