The Grocer recently ran the ‘Talking Trash?’ feature, touching on the shelved Circular Economy proposal. The piece posed an interesting question – what does the industry need to do when it comes to packaging, recycling and food waste?
A designated recycling bin is now a regular feature at work and home, but achieving a significant impact on waste reduction and recycling now requires more players to be involved. This is no longer JUST in the hands of business waste collection services like ourselves, the wider industry must work together to drive substantial change and support our environment. For example, packaging can play a big part in helping prevent food waste.
The right packaging can be part of the solution. Had the proposed EU packaging directive been adopted, the food and drink sector would have been required to recycle or re-use 8% of packaging by 2030, with the landfilling of recyclables to be entirely phased out by 2025. The Circular Economy package was supposed to drive forward a Europe-wide approach to packaging and take into account the entire lifecycle of any product. This approach aimed to soften the environmental impact of food waste and could potentially have prompted change in other industry sectors when it came to business and industrial waste management.
For the time being, the pressure on businesses with regards to recycling and rubbish removal can be eased by revolutionary and innovative packaging solutions. Already available are biodegradable beeswax wrappers which naturally peel off and are designed to contain single portions, leading to zero waste. Even seaweed and caramelised sugar are being introduced as packaging! The environmentally friendly wrapping deteriorates at the same rate as the product it’s protecting, reducing the need for unrecyclable plastics!