A study by CTF, Service Research Centre at Karlstad University in Sweden has concluded that food waste poses a larger threat to our environment than the actual packaging itself. The study focused on why consumers throw away different food types and how packaging has an impact on the issue. Of the 37 individuals who participated in the study, all took part in logging every food type and quantity that was being discarded and for what reason.
Results showed that food packed in larger sizes were far more likely to be thrown away suggesting perhaps smaller pack sizes are an option to eliminate food waste and maintain the quality of products once opened or used. Another contributing factor noted from the participants involved was the lack of knowledge on food safety and date labels.
With long shelf life products, the study suggests that pack sizes be manufactured and purchased on a smaller scale, given the short time frame labelled for consumption once opened. Products like sauces and condiments were noted as being commonly discarded items as only small amounts were used each time within the time from purchase to the expiry of the product.
Food packaging is often deemed as the major threat to our environment. However, it is imperative for not only the transportation of foods, but also the protection. An astonishing one third of climate impact stems from food production so it is essential that packaging in future is designed to meet consumers’ needs and quantities while maintaining quality to decrease the amount of food going to landfill.