Study reveals how packaging can reduce food waste
Australian research by RMIT University has shown the vital role of packaging in minimising food waste. Conducted by RMIT's Centre for Design and commissioned by CHEP Australia, the study shows where - and why - food waste occurs along both the fresh and manufactured food supply chain.
The research proposes opportunities for industry to address food waste through innovative and sustainable primary, secondary and tertiary packaging.
RMIT Senior Research Fellow Dr Karli Verghese led the research study, titled: The role of packaging in minimising food waste in the supply chain of the future. Dr Verghese said:
"Packaging actually plays a critical role in protecting fresh produce and processed food in transit, in storage, at point of sale and prior to consumption. In doing so it helps deliver a wide range of functions while reducing food waste." "Our research identified opportunities for improvement where food waste is incurred through things like poor inventory management, overstocking of shelves or product damage during transport and handling. "There are certainly opportunities to minimise food waste through packaging innovation and design, such as improved ventilation and temperature control for fresh produce, and better understanding the dynamics between different levels of packaging, to ensure they are designed fit-for-purpose" (News Item RMIT University, 26 June 2013).