Across the world, food waste is an issue on an enormous scale with devastating economic and environmental consequences which are growing with the forever expanding global population. There are many ways that packaging can be a step towards preventing food waste, by cutting down physical damage and the spoilage of food in transit.
How does packaging play a part in reducing food waste?
Packaging plays an important part in preventing the spoilage and damage of food whilst it is in transport in several ways:
- Physical protection to minimise damage
- Temperature controlled protection to delay spoilage
- Security protection to prevent tampering and premature spoilage
Packaging serves a key role in physically protecting food from damage and spoilage whilst it is in transit by providing ideal conditions. At their simplest, packaging technology provides a physical barrier against the elements during travel, such as standard cardboard boxes.
However, there are other packaging systems and technologies that delay the spoilage of food whilst it is in transit, giving consumers a wider window to use them. These include temperature-controlled packaging systems and ice packs that regulate the internal temperature of the package, which is essential when transporting both chilled and frozen foods throughout the years, especially the summer months.
Below are examples of packaging which contain added physical protection and temperature protection to prevent the spoilage of food whilst in transit.
- StarchBox – StarchBox is a plant-based packaging system which protects and controls the temperature of food during transit. The cushioning properties of StarchBox help to reduce physical damage to the food, whilst the expanded corn starch concealed in brown paper offers thermal protection, preventing the food from becoming spoiled. StarchBox is also fully compostable, making it a more environmentally friendly replacement for less sustainable insulating packaging, such as expanded polystyrene.
- EnviroCool – This biodegradable, compostable and 100% recyclable packaging maintains the chilled cold chain of the food for a minimum of 24hours, preventing spoilage in transit. EnviroCool features a hexagonal core liner made completely of recyclable heavy-duty cardboard which works to hold sealed air in multiple convection pockets. The still air in these pockets work to provide insulation for the contents, preventing spoilage, and the hexagonal shape liner provides strength, protecting the food against physical damage.
- Freshpac ReflectiveAir – Freshpac ReflectiveAir is a leak resistant, temperature-controlled packaging system to protect food in transit. The sealed bubble air bag liner is sandwiched between foil-based laminate to provide an extraordinary level of insulation. This insulation helps to prevent the spoiling of food, and the bubble liner provides cushion to prevent damage during transit.
The protective, temperature-controlled system for chilled and frozen food also features a ‘hot melt’ self-seal adhesive strip to highlight whether the food has been tampered with somewhere along the production line.