Study points to packaging as a solution to food waste in supply chain

Australia study conducted by RMIT University’s Centre for Design uncovers where and why food waste occurs within the supply chain and suggests packaging technologies that may help reduce this waste. “Packaging actually plays a critical role in protecting fresh produce and processed food in transit, in storage, at point of sale, and prior to consumption. In doing so, it helps deliver a wide range of functions while reducing food waste,” says RMIT Senior Research Fellow Dr. Karli Verghese leader of the research study.

While households are the largest generator of food waste to landfill (2.7 million tons each year), the report shows that in the commercial and industrial sector, the largest generators are food services (661,000 tones), followed by food manufacturing (312,000 tones), retailing (179,000 tones), and wholesale distribution (83,000 tones). However, food waste recovery rates are extremely high in the manufacturing sector, with 90% of waste repurposed.

“There are certainly opportunities to minimize food waste through packaging innovation and design, such as improved ventilation and temperature control for fresh produce, and better understanding the dynamics between different levels of packaging, to ensure they are designed fit-for-purpose.”

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Source: Packaging World