A Close-Up on Engineering Visit for a Long Dwell Machine...
January 31, 2024
Sustainable food packaging is a crucial aspect of the food industry. It aims to reduce the environmental impact of packaging materials while preserving the quality and safety of food products. Packaging plays a vital role in protecting food from physical, chemical, and biological hazards. It extends shelf life and also enhances consumer appeal. Conventional packaging materials, such as plastics, metals, and paper, pose significant challenges for the environment. They consume large amounts of resources, generate waste, and contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. In 2021, the EU generated 188.7 kg packaging waste per inhabitant, 10.8 kg more per person than in 2020, the biggest increase in 10 years. There is a growing need for sustainable packaging solutions that can minimize negative effects and promote a circular economy.
The demand for sustainable packaging solutions is driven by the increasing awareness of consumers and stakeholders about the environmental consequences of packaging. Consumers are becoming more conscious of their purchasing decisions and preferences. They seek products that are eco-friendly, ethical, and healthy. 71 percent of European consumers claim they want to buy sustainable products. Stakeholders, such as governments, regulators, and industry associations, are also implementing policies and standards to encourage the adoption of sustainable packaging practices and technologies. These factors create opportunities and challenges for the food industry, as it has to balance the environmental, economic, and social aspects of packaging.
A sustainable packaging solutions that has gained popularity in recent years is flow pack. The flow pack is a form of flexible packaging that wraps food products in a continuous film. Flow pack offers several advantages over rigid packaging. They lower material and energy consumption, higher production speed, better sealing performance, and greater versatility. Supermarkets such as Aldi, Sainsbury’s and Lidl are trialling vacuum and flow-wrap packed packaging across its beef mince products, which will cut the amount of plastic used by up to 73 percent. Flow packs use biodegradable or compostable films, such as bio-based polymers, to further reduce the environmental impact of packaging. Flow pack is suitable for various food products, such as fruits, vegetables, bakery, snacks, and confectionery, as it can provide adequate barrier properties, mechanical strength, and aesthetic appeal.