Packaging for sustainable development
Our vision is to contribute to a sustainable future, where less food is wasted and packaging are designed, bought and used with the intention to minimize the environmental impact associated with the whole life-cycle of the product in mind.
To achieve this, we need more knowledge about how packaging attributes interact with human needs of different kinds, life-cycle estimations about how much packaging material that can be motivated from an environmental point of view to reduce food waste, and knowledge about drivers to get things happen. The issue is very complex and the environmentally best solution may differ radically between different food products, cultures and other circumstances, like how recycling is organised in a country.
The research is interdisciplinary. Researchers at Karlstad University have during the past decade in a unique way built up theory and empirical evidence by combining services theory and life cycle analysis. This makes it possible to analyse the interaction between product attributes and consumer behaviour, something seldom included in life cycle analyses.
We have established an international network, Packaging Saves Food, with leading researchers in this area from Australia, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Great Britain and USA. We have also close cooperation with packaging companies as BillerudKorsnäs AB.
General research objectives
- To identify packaging related causes for food waste at retail and by consumers.
- To continue the theory development for how packaging attributes influence human behaviour.
- To study drivers and obstacles for sustainable packaging development
- To make more case specific studies for different kind of products.
- Fredrik Wikström (Associate Professor)
- Helén Williams (Senior lecturer)
- Lisa Mattsson (Doctoral Candidate)
Current research Projects
- Packaging systems for less food waste (funding from Vinnova)
- Wood innovation i Inner Scandinavia (funding from Interreg)