Food packaging and processing advanced in terms of technology available and used in the food industry. Packaging stands out as something that is highly important for all businesses that need it. Packaging will protect the food so the main focus was always put on this. As time passed the environmental impact of food packaging became quite obvious. Unfortunately, many of the choices made by manufacturers are not as great as they could be.
There are now many rules and regulations when referring to MSW (municipal solid waste) in USA. Most of MSW is made out of items that are thrown away by households. This includes food scraps, durable items, yard trimmings and packages. Recycled bags are not as common as many believe. Most of the bags and packaging that are thrown are highly detrimental for nature.
Food packaging makes up most of the MSW when looking at packaging. This is because will typically be consumed around 3 times per day. That makes food packaging make up around 2 thirds of the total waste in packaging seen, when referring to volume. Also, food packaging will make up around 50% of all the total packaging sales weight.
Food Packaging Materials And Roles
Food packaging has the main role of protecting the food from potential outside influence or distribution damages. Food is contained and packaging will include nutrition and ingredient information. The products are contained in ways that are cost-efficient in most cases. The only thing that is normally considered by the manufacturers is satisfying industry requirements. Food safety, environmental impact and consumer desires are not as important as they should be for many business owners.
Another thing that should be mentioned is that package construction and design will play an important part in determining food shelf life. If the material is well-chosen, the freshness and quality of the food will remain unaltered during storage and distribution. Unfortunately, this is where the environmental problem tends to appear. The modern food packages will include many different materials in order to maximize efficiency. This can so easily lead to problems as the combinations become really hard to recycle and cannot decompose in a short period of time.
The Industry Is Changing
Fortunately, people are becoming more and more interested in environmental problems. This means that those that figured out how bad regular food packaging is for Earth are speaking up. They are actively looking for alternatives that are not going to hurt the environment. That creates problems for some manufacturers but others are thriving as they are offering people exactly what they need.
Unfortunately, technology is far away from offering the necessary options to protect all food and maintain freshness while not being harmful on the long run for the environment. The good news is we are going to see new and new packaging options developed. Companies will have to adopt them because of the growing environmental concern for people all around the world. Protecting the environment through food packaging is something that will surely become a widespread reality in the future.