Hello there, Fredrik Wikström...2022-06-22
...Professor of Energy and Environmental Technology. Your research on packaging and food waste is currently gaining much international attention. What is this research about?
– Yes, that’s correct! My colleague Helén Williams and I have written an article based on our research on packaging and food waste. We wrote it on behalf of an Australian organisation, 360info. They promote research related to sustainable development and that addresses the sustainable development goals of Agenda 2030. In our case it is goal 12.3, which focuses on reduced food waste. They asked us, since our research on the impact of packaging on household food waste is unique. Our article was published together with several other articles on the issue of food waste, written by researchers from all over the world.
Who is the target audience?
– Everyone who makes decision related to food packaging, such as politicians, public authorities and manufacturers, but also consumers who are the ones who chooses what to purchase at the grocery store.
What is your message?
– That we have two problems that must be solved simultaneously—the environmental issue of packaging and the environmental issue of food waste. Just removing or decreasing food packaging would increase the amount of food going to waste dramatically, which would have severe consequences for the environment. We also want to illustrate the complexity of these issues. For example, a steak comes with a significant environmental impact, so the packaging is justified from an environmental standpoint. Compare this to bottled water, where the bottle itself accounts for 90 percent of the environmental impact. In this case, perhaps we should implement a refill system to reduce the number of bottles. Like I said—these are complex issues. Consequently, it is important to address them, so that different actors can come together and find solutions that benefit both the climate and the consumers. With the rising food prices, there are even more reasons to reduce the food waste. A reduced demand means lower food prices and more people who can afford to eat. Better reasoning when it comes to packaging can lead to reduced food waste. Hopefully, our research can contribute to the development of sustainable packaging.
Links to the articles on 360info: