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Packaging can reduce global food waste, says European corrugated industry

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Food waste could be significantly reduced with the right packaging, according to the European Federation of Corrugated Board Manufacturers (FEFCO).

FEFCO has said that far more waste is created when producing a product than the packaging, and argues the worldwide total of 1 billion tonnes of food waste could be significantly reduced with optimised packaging.

Secretary general Angelika Christ said: “Downsizing packaging makes no sense if product loss occurs as a consequence. Packaging should be optimised according to the requirements of each and every product. Sometimes increased packaging significantly reduces impact on the environment.”

It gives the example of Vitacress, which is one of Europe’s leading growers of watercress, that asked for a corrugated packaging solution that would increase shelf life and reduce product loss in distribution. The result included a drain tray of crushed ice that sits on the top rim of the pack and trickles melting water over the watercress to keep it fresh for up to 48 hours.

The organisation also noted that 75 per cent of European goods in transit are protected by corrugated board. 

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