Feb 24th, 2012

European Parliament steps up the fight against food waste

It’s a simple, but very shocking fact: in the EU, the amount of food wasted per person each year amounts to 179 kg, as European Environment Commissioner Janez Poto?nik explained at the Combating Food Waste in the EU event that took place in Brussels in November 2011.

In total current wastage in the EU 27 adds up to 89 million tonnes , and the projection for 2020 (if no action is taken) will see a rise to 126 million tonnes, meaning an incredible 41% increase.

Thankfully, the European Parliament’s Initiative Report approved on January 19th calls for urgent measures to halve food waste by 2025 and to improve access to food for EU citizens.  The Parliament calls upon the European Commission, member states and Council to take into account its opinion and guidance in future policy developments. The resolution highlights the positive role of packaging: “…the optimisation and efficient use of food packaging can play an important role in preventing food waste by reducing a product’s overall environmental impact…”  It also cites how packaging can help through measures such as varying pack sizes to ensure consumers buy the right amount and the provision of advice on how to store and use products. Mentioned too is how well designed packaging can increase the longevity of goods and maintain their freshness.

Therefore the Parliament recognizes that packaging can in fact reduce and prevent food being needlessly disposed of. The design and manufacture of corrugated packaging, including recent exciting innovations such as a special coating that absorbs gases triggering the decomposition of fruit and vegetables, also helps in the battle against food waste.