The World Packaging Organisation (WPO) is inviting all members across the globe to observe International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste on 29 September, which is coordinated by Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
The International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste is designed to make a clear call to action for both the public and private sectors to prioritise actions and move ahead with innovation to reduce food loss and waste.
Why is it important to reduce food loss and waste?
One third of all food produced in the world is wasted and when food is lost or wasted, all the resources that were used to produce this food -, including water, land, energy, labour and capital - go to waste. Environmentally food that is lost or wasted is responsible for 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions. If food waste was a country, it would be the third largest GHG emitter behind the USA and China.
According to WPO President, Prof. Pierre Pienaar CPP, 'Packaging can play an integral role in minimising food waste at the start of the value chain so that waste can be prevented in the households,'
"Avoiding food waste is a critical packaging issue and one that food producers, manufacturers, brand owners, retailers and consumers need to better understand," he said.
Vice President Sustainability & Save Food, Nerida Kelton added that 'Without adequate intuitive packaging design features and fit-for-purpose packaging, food can potentially be wasted all the way through the supply chain to the consumer. By modifying packaging designs and ensuring that Save Food Packaging Guidelines are followed food waste and loss can be minimised and/or prevented,"
"The most innovative and intuitive Save Food Packaging uses design features that can contain & protect, preserve, extend shelf life, easily open and reseal, provide consumer convenience and portion control; all the while meeting global sustainable packaging targets,"
"Opportunities for packaging design to minimise food waste can include better facilitation or communication around portion control, date labelling, extension of shelf life, protection, resealability and openability, serving size, food safety/freshness information, information on storage options and improved communication on packs," she said.
The WPO has been working on the issue of Food Waste and the role that packaging plays for many years now and as the organisation developed a special award category for innovative and intuitive Save Food Packaging Design in the annual WorldStar Packaging Awards.
The Packaging that Saves Food Special Award is designed to raise the profile of the critical role of packaging to reduce food waste and therefore reduce product's overall environmental impact and recognises companies that are developing innovative and sustainable packaging that minimises food losses and food waste, extends shelf life and improves the supply of food. The WPO encourage all businesses to consider entering this award category to help showcase Best Practice Save Food Packaging Design across the globe.
How can WPO Members get involved?
WPO Member Associations
- Take advantage of this important opportunity to call for action. Run a webinar discussing the Food Waste and Loss challenges and programs in your region or country.
- Engage with your industry media discussing the issue in your region or country
- Recognise local Food Waste Champions and thank them for their work
- Recognise local charities and associations who are helping to minimise food waste in your region or country
- Showcase the good work that is being done in your region or country regarding Food Waste
- Support your local Foodbank by asking your members to donate canned non-perishable goods
- Showcase local companies who have developed innovative and intuitive Save Food Packaging designs
- Encourage your food and beverage manufacturers to donate goods to Foodbanks and Food recovery services
- Establish an annual industry event to pack hampers for those in need
- Let the WPO know what your association is working on in the area of Food Waste and Save Food Packaging
- Spread the message on social media #FLWDay #reducingfoodlossandwaste #stopfoodwaste #savefoodpackaging #worldpackagingorganisation
WPO Pack Talk Show on the important role
that packaging plays in minimising food waste
Liliam Benzi, WPO Press & Communications Officer had the opportunity recently to interview Nerida Kelton, WPO Vice President Sustainability & Save Food and discussed the important role that packaging plays in minimising food waste. During the WPO Pack Talk Show they also discussed all of the tips and guides for WPO Members to get involved. Please share the interview link with you own Members and Association to help spread the message about food waste.