Report urges ‘small changes’ in food packaging

The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) has called on food and packaging organisations and consumers to make ‘small changes’ in their behaviour and use of food packaging to help reduce the approximate 60% of household food waste that is ‘not used in time.’

The recently released ‘Consumer Attitudes to Food Waste and Food Packaging’ report builds on previous research suggesting that throwing away food as a result of it not being used in time is costing UK consumers £6.7 billion a year (or £270 per household).

The report suggests that negative attitudes towards packaging and its impact on the environment, lack of information on packaging, and a lack of consumer awareness about the use of packaging in helping to keep food fresh, could all be a barrier to reducing the amount of food thrown away.

One of the key recommendations proposed by the report to help reduce food waste is for consumers to ‘make more use of the information provided on packaging’ in terms of how to store specific food types to help keep food ‘fresher for longer’.

In order for food packaging to provide correct and helpful information the report also suggests that food and packaging organisations should ‘consider whether they can do more to inform customers about the innovations they are making around food labelling and packaging, to raise awareness of the benefits and encourage consumers to make use of these, and undertake further innovation’.

Other recommendations listed in the WRAP report include:

  • Raising awareness of the benefits of reducing food waste and the role that packaging can play through consumer campaigns, such as ‘Love Food Hate Waste’;
  • Producing campaigns to provide advice to consumers about food packaging, such as pack size and labelling, and to offer updated guidance around the best way to buy food with the appropriate packaging; and
  • Seeing continued innovation in packaging recyclability along with increased provision of recycling services, and clear communication on how to use them.

Michael Bennett of specialist environmental PR and communications consultancy Pelican said: “This is significant progress but there is clearly a lot more to be done. Communications has a vital role to play in continuing to drive changes in behaviour.”

Pelican Communications are specialists in the environmentfood and drinkoutdoor and leisure and packaging sectors and offer a range of services such as media relations, brand management, event management and people developmentContact us for marketing and communications expertise.