Packaging’s role in halving food waste by 2030

With Australian consumers throwing away around 3.1 million tonnes of edible food a year, and another 2.2 million tonnes disposed of by the commercial and industrial sector, along with a Federal Government National Food Waste Strategy to halve food waste that goes to landfill by 2030, it is time that everyone contributes to solving this issue.

As a part of the AIP’s commitment to minimising food waste, the Institute has a representative on the Department of the Environment and Energy National Food Waste Steering Committee. It is also a participant in the Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre is a member of both the Save Food Initiative and of Friends of 12.3, as well as an active World Packaging Organisation Member in the Save Food Pavilion at Interpack.
The AIP is a long-standing supporter of Foodbank Australia, running an annual Christmas Hamper Packing Program in Queensland and recently introducing a warehouse packing day in Victoria for the wider industry.

The Institute is focused on education and training programs that can assist with minimising food waste and loss globally.

The AIP has developed training courses and awards programs that are focused on:
• The role of packaging in minimising food waste
• Save Food Packaging design
• Sustainable packaging design
• The role of lifecycle analysis in packaging design
The AIP has also been working on key criteria and guidelines for packaging technologists and designers to use as the standard for Save Food Packaging design.
Long-term objectives of the AIP are to:
• Encourage all packaging technologists and designers to use Save Food Packaging key criteria and guidelines across the globe. The key criteria includes “re-sealability, openability, improvement of barrier packaging and extension of shelf-life, portion control, better understanding of Best Before vs Use By dates; improved design to reduce warehouse and transport damages and losses; better use of active and intelligent packaging; and lifecycle assessments”.
• Ensure that all packaging technologists and designers are utilising lifecyle analysis tools within their Save Food Packaging framework. Today, there is a strong focus on the environmental aspects of food packaging to ensure that at the end of its life (after use of the product contained) that it can be reused, repurposed, recycled or composted.
• Encourage manufacturers to actively engage in designing innovative Save Food Packaging and communicating these initiatives to their customers and consumers.
• Recognise a range of Save Food Packaging innovations through the Packaging Innovation & Design (PIDA) Awards and the international WorldStar Packaging Award program.
• Showcase best practice award-winning save food packaging innovations across Australia and New Zealand.
• Contribute to consumer education and engagement projects to change the narrative around packaging’s roles in minimising food waste. Consumer education is needed to help them better understand the true role of food packaging: “protection, preservation and promotion of product, shelf-life extension, tamper resistance, barrier from external elements all the while ensuring safe delivery of food.”

The National Food Waste Strategy and the establishment of the Fight Food Waste CRC have for the first time enabled the bringing together of a range of like-minded industry professionals who are working collaboratively across the entire supply chain for a common goal: “Halving Food Waste by 2030”. Every business has a role to play.

Has your business developed a Fight Food Waste Strategy? Are you designing any Save Food Packaging? If so, what criteria are your packaging technologists using?

Are you ensuring that LCA is incorporated in your design tools? Have you enrolled your packaging technologists in the new training course, The Role of Packaging in Minimising Food Waste?