Reducing food waste: What role for packaging?

It is estimated that, every year, around 88 million tonnes of food are wasted in the EU, a number which is expected to rise to approximately 126 million tonnes by 2020, if no immediate action is taken.

Figures show that 70% of food waste arises in the household, food service and retail sectors, while production and processing sectors contribute the remaining 30%.

In April, the European Parliament voted in favour of an own-initiative report entitled ‘Resource efficiency: reducing food waste, improving food safety’, urging the European Commission to set binding EU-wide food waste reduction targets by 2020.

According to the report, food packaging makes an important contribution to the reduction of food waste. Through active and intelligent packaging the usable life of products can be extended and protected.

EURACTIV organised a workshop to discuss the EU’s approach to reducing food waste and the role that packaging plays in this matter. Questions included:

– What legislative measures are needed to reduce the wasting of food?

– How to encourage food producers and retail sector to use active & intelligent packaging?

– Which international initiatives could be adapted to the European market?

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