Plastic packaging increases fresh food waste
26 April 2022
In a circular economy, many merchants opt to wrap fruits, vegetables, and other products in single-use plastic wrapping or packaging to keep them from spoiling. However, according to recent research by the sustainability organization Wrap, this approach may create more harm than good in terms of pollution from plastic packing and increased food loss due to waste. The packaging is not only polluted our environment but also is the main reason for climate change and affects our ecology system.
- The 18-month study looked at apples, bananas, potatoes, broccoli, and cucumber sales in both plastic and lose packaging, with and without “Best before” dates. Along with the pollution caused by single-use plastic packaging—which the group estimates to be 10,000 tons of plastic in the UK alone, they discovered that selling fresh produce wrapped in plastic with a “Best before” date significantly increased food loss.
Disadvantages of wrapping
- According to Wrap’s research, approximately $3 billion worth of food is thrown out in the UK each year because it has gone moldy or its date label has expired.
- Plastic wrapping on vegetables at stores, according to the study, made “little or no difference” in shelf life but forced people to buy more of a product than they required, resulting in waste.
- Furthermore, the appearance of a “Best before” date often contributes to premature product disposal; according to WRAP, one out of every ten persons throws food away after it has passed its label date, even though their judgment suggests it is still edible. The group discovered that removing plastic packaging from produce would save 10,000 tons of plastic and 100,000 tons of food yearly.
According to the paper, “allowing individuals to buy the proper number of apples, potatoes, and bananas is the unique way in which selling lose will assist in reducing food waste.” “While most supermarkets presently sell some of these goods lose, the research suggests that this should be greatly enhanced, not just for these three items, but for a broader range of fresh fruits and vegetables.” While the research focused on five typically wasted items, many more products are now marketed loose and could benefit from the findings.”