Many would argue we are in an endless sea of packaging, a lot of which is unnecessary and can and should be avoided. Where in some instances we would agree, for example, large boxes to help contain a very small item – when a much smaller, more compact box would be a far more effective and efficient option. However, in many cases packaging is not only an advantageous addition but also a necessary requirement for some items. Yet still many people do not understand these benefits, and often question the value of packaging – especially when it comes to food.
Taking fruit and vegetables as an example, supermarkets provide a packaged and ‘loose’ food option for most fruit and vegetables, and with many of these types of food having an outer peel, a lot of people do question the purpose of the packaging. Well, despite what some may assume, this packaging does have a very significant purpose, as does all food packaging and it plays a very important role in many different ways.
Reduces Food Waste Levels & Preserves
A very small amount of plastic can make a huge difference in terms of a food’s life span, this can be increased by up to 28 days, by helping keep food fresher for longer.
Hygiene has never been more important than at this present moment with the COVID-19 pandemic, loose food that is unpackaged has a far higher risk of contamination or risk of the spread of unhygienic particles.
Packaging makes purchasing food items far more convenient – pre-packed food items can be quickly added to the trolley, rather than the hassle of handling loose items which will undoubtedly take up time and room. Packaging allows for compact and effective storage & transportation.
Unlike the non-packaged alternatives, food that has packaging allows for important information to be shown. This includes allergy information, ingredients, cooking directions, calorie and nutritional information – which needs to be legally provided. This type of information has been found to be very important to consumers and plays a big part in their purchasing habits.
Economical and Environmental Impacts
Finally and arguably, most importantly – small amounts of packaging make big economical impacts. By extending the longevity of an item with packaging, in turn, it will reduce the food waste levels and the methane levels which such waste produces in landfills. Of course, a reduction in food waste will also help keep resources used to produce the food at a more economical level. Transport costs and emissions will also be lowered due to the greater convenience in distribution that packaging provides us with. Along with many other environmental benefits, packaging has been proven to be a very beneficial addition when it comes to food.
We would argue packaging is not the big issue here, it would be what happens to the packaging after it has been used. This is where recycled and recyclable packaging needs to be used, this is not only benefiting the product with packaging, but the recyclability aspect is benefiting the planet due to its circular attributes.
Rethink how you look at and handle your packaging, and see the benefits which it is providing us with.