Apr. 09, 2022
When it comes to food, quality packaging is critical because it protects the product and ensures that it is safe to eat. Packaging helps keep food fresher for longer and extends the life of perishable items. Plastic is one of the most common types of food packaging because it is affordable, sanitary and easy to transport.
Plastic packaging may be both cheap and convenient, but plastic packaging waste is becoming a huge environmental problem, with statistics showing that more than 2.2 million tons of plastic packaging is produced in the UK each year.
Fortunately, there are sustainable food packaging solutions that can reduce plastic waste and lower the carbon footprint. We'll discuss these in more detail below.
It's not always possible to completely eliminate plastic packaging, especially if you're storing perishable foods such as meat and dairy products. However, there are innovative ways to minimize plastic packaging and prevent food waste.
Vacuum packaging is one of the easiest ways to reduce plastic waste and extend the life of your food. Vacuum packaging machines seal the food in a secure plastic film package and remove all air from the package. There are a variety of vacuum packaging machines available for purchase, from small packaging machines to large industrial machines.
The biggest advantage of vacuum packaging is that it safely extends the shelf life of food products, especially meat and dairy products. A vacuum-sealed steak has a shelf life of about 16 days, compared to 6 days for a steak stored in standard packaging.
Vacuum packers help reduce food waste and keep food fresher for longer. In turn, this helps minimize the amount of plastic waste that is generated and ends up in landfills.
One simple way to reduce the amount of plastic waste produced is to switch to paper food packaging and bags. in 2015, England introduced a 5p fee on plastic bags to discourage the use of single-use plastic bags. The introduction of the 5p charge has been a "phenomenal success" with a 95% drop in plastic bag use, according to Environment Minister Rebecca Pow. The government is raising the fee to 10p in 2021 and extending the policy to all retailers.
As a shopper, you can avoid being charged and reduce your impact on the environment by buying reusable bags for life. You should also keep loose items like fresh fruits and vegetables in paper bags rather than plastic bags whenever possible.
Paper packaging is becoming increasingly popular as food manufacturers set ambitious goals to reduce plastic waste and switch to more sustainable packaging materials. The shift to paper-based food packaging is a natural next step for food companies trying to meet their sustainability goals and reduce the amount of single-use plastic in their packaging.
Look for food products in supermarkets with packaging made from paper and other environmentally friendly materials, and try to support sustainable brands.
Various food manufacturers are embracing sustainability by creating eco-friendly packaging made from 100% natural items. For example, a Berlin company has created a line of natural food packaging solutions made from sun-dried betel nut palm leaves. Its snack boxes are perfect for displaying fresh fruits and vegetables and can also be used as sustainable plates at picnics and other events.
The packaging is made from 100% biodegradable and chemical-free materials. It is durable, heat and cold resistant, and has a water-resistant surface, making it a versatile alternative to traditional food packaging.
Plastic pollution is a serious environmental problem, and according to a report by the United Nations Environment Programme, we currently produce about 300 million tons of plastic waste each year. That's almost the weight of the entire human race!
The largest market for plastics is packaging, which is often used to protect food products so they can be safely transported and stored. The good news is that there are many sustainable alternatives to plastic packaging that can keep food fresh and safe to eat, without harming the environment.