Europe is facing a food waste issue. According to a European Commissioned study, in 2012 more than 100 million metric tons of food was wasted in the EU. Due to the results, the Commission released a policy paper to all EU members to develop a plan to prevent food waste. While plastic manufacturers and their customers in the EU are under constant pressure to reduce the volume of plastic used, plastic may be the answer to reducing the amount of food waste. A study conducted shows that plastic prevents damage and contamination to foods; providing a barrier against moisture and oxygen this translates into a longer shelf life. The study was authored by Harald Pilz, who suggests that packaging technologies are in continuous development to better optimize barrier layers and puncture resistance.
Included in the study were six test foods: sirloin steak, Austria’s Bergbaron cheese, a yeast bun, garden lettuce, a cucumber and chicken. These foods were enclosed in the usual packaging. The study compared the rates of spoiling with these foods when using new plastic packaging. Though the new packaging used more plastic, it reduced the occurrence of food waste by fifty percent.
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Source: Plastics News