Earth Day 2021: Fighting both food and packaging waste

Earth Day 2021: Fighting both food and packaging waste

According to government figures, food and packaging account for up to 45% of solid waste in the United States. Finding effective ways to address both waste streams is increasingly important. Not only does much of that waste go to landfill, but according to a Norvegian NGO, many of the world’s hungry people could be fed with less than a quarter of the food that is wasted each year. 

In honour of Earth Day 2021, let’s take a look at how packaging can be used to cut down on both food and packaging waste.

Two-thirds of food waste is due to spoilage. By opting for the right packaging products, companies can cut down on waste by better protecting food items during transportation and storage. Good barrier properties extend shelf life by protecting food from oxygen, moisture and potential contaminants. They also preserve freshness, taste and appearance, meaning that food products are less likely to be discarded once they arrive in consumers’ homes.

But at the same time, many packaging products that present good barrier properties are based on composite, hard-to-recycle materials containing plastics or aluminium foil. This can put food and beverage companies in a difficult position by forcing them to choose between reducing food spoilage and keeping packaging from landfills. 

Fortunately, advances in technology mean that there are now packaging solutions that can effectively protect food from spoilage while being fully recyclable through conventional processes.  AR Metallizing’s METIVO line includes packaging for butter, chocolate and candy, takeaways, ice cream, chewing gum and others. METIVO offers comparable barrier properties to conventional multilayer materials and is based on 100% recyclable, sustainably-sourced paper. 

Food packaging collage