With UK regulations limiting household refuse, food manufacturers are being challenged to increase recyclable packaging and help cut food waste.
According to the Recycling Guide, some town councils have taken to limiting the number of bags of refuse that British households can put out each fortnight. While households can do their part by increasing recycling, one packaging firm claims food manufacturers need to step up as well.
Lightening the load
Paul Francis of flexible packaging producer Flexico UK said food manufacturers can help decrease food waste and increase recycling rates in a number of ways.
“Food manufacturers are very aware of their responsibility to reduce packaging, to help combat food wastage,” he said.
The Recycling Guide also reports that 40kg of plastic food packaging is thrown away by each UK household annually. Additionally, the country’s landfills welcome about 6.7m tonnes of food waste each year; Francis said food companies and packaging partners can help reduce that by increasing use of recloseable packaging.
Francis says that even consumers not currently on board with recycling will start to see the light in increasing numbers, especially if incentives like having to pay for additional bags of refuse become prevalent.
“As pressure from consumers highlights the need for resealable packaging to prolong the life of left over produce, food manufacturers will have to seek packaging alternatives, he said. “We, in turn, will have to find the solutions to meet their requirements; including cost, shelf-life, ease of use and even biodegradable properties.”