Plastic packaging not preventing food waste, says FoE

A new report from Zero Waste Europe and Friends of the Earth Europe linking the problems of food waste and plastic packaging waste claims that while plastic packaging can help to keep food fresh for longer, it is not preventing food waste.

The report, titled ‘Unwrapped: How throwaway plastic is failing to solve Europe’s food waste problem’, reveals the extent of the problem: food waste per person has doubled between 2004 and 2014, while the amount of plastic packaging used has also risen by 40 to 50 per cent.

Attempting to explain some of the many complex drivers behind food waste, the report suggests that strict food grading standards, produce sold in multipacks, cheap prices and oversupply can all contribute to an increase in wastage.

With legislation on single-use plastics expected from the European Commission before the summer, Meadhbh Bolger at Friends of the Earth commented: “EU-decision makers need to listen to the growing public appetite to quit plastics, help Europe lead in adopting strict rules to limit throwaway plastics, and shift to localised food systems without disposable packaging.”