New food packaging project awarded sustainability prize2019-12-16
On December 5, researchers at CTF, Service Research Center at Karlstad University, received the Lidl Future Initiatives award of 3.8 million SEK to start up a new research project on transformative packaging design. The project aims to increase consumers’ and packaging developers’ knowledge of plastic food packaging.
"We want to help explain the confused debate about plastic packaging by developing new knowledge, and to create a guide on how to choose packaging that has less impact on the environment, says Helén Williams, Associate Professor of Environment and Energy systems and project leader in the new project. We need to raise awareness on the functions of packaging, and understand how it can contribute to reducing food waste – it is necessary to reduce food waste in order to meet the challenges to reduce the food sectors impact on the climate."
It is a though challenge for food companies to know when to choose plastic packaging and not. The project will look at the consumer’s handling of products and packaging and which factors play a role when choosing the best packaging. The goal is to develop a guide of when to choose, or avoid plastic packaging.
"Our project will give consumer’s and packaging developer’s more knowledge in the area so that food waste is reduced, and at the same time the environmental impact of the packaging will decrease, says Helén Williams.
Increased understanding for packaging solutions
"Many consumers don’t know about the function of packaging, how it protects the food and also makes it easier to consume the whole content. This can lead to a lack of acceptance for packaging solutions even if they contribute to reduced food waste and less environmental impact overall."says Helén Williams.
The project "Transformative packaging design for sustainable development – creating a guide on packaging design with the aim of reducing the total environmental impact" was awarded just over 3.8 million from Lidl's sustainability initiative Lidl Future Initiatives /The plastic challenge and will last for three years.
About Lidl’s Future Initiatives/Plastic challenge
This autumn Lidl encouraged colleges, universities, non-profit organizations and independent research institutes to apply for the Plastic Challenge of 10 million SEK in total for sustainability projects linked to plastics. The interest for the call was big and of 27 qualitative applications, five winners were selected: The Swedish Outdoor Association, Karlstad University, Rise IVF, KTH Chemical Engineering and Rise. The common denominators are focus on different types of recycling of plastic that today is difficult or impossible to recycle, to end the closed loop or promote knowledge to consumers, especially children and young people as well as packaging developers.