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Packaging experts to review the role of plastics in food industry

Packaging expert Lorax Compliance said: A ban on plastics packaging would lead to an increase in food waste, which impulses the UK government to review the full circularity of plastics’ role in the food supply chain as part of its forthcoming consultation and to involve food manufacturers and producers as part of the review, in order to minimise future waste and costs of perishable goods.

Michelle Carvell, chief operating officer at Lorax Compliance stated: “As the government works to clarify its approach on single-use plastics in its long-awaited consultation, we urge ministers to reconsider the effect a plastics packaging ban, as articulated in Defra’s 25 Year Environment Plan, could have on our national food waste crisis. We are delighted, as environmental and packaging compliance experts, to see retailers pledge their support to sustainable solutions. However, we believe that the carbon cycle should be considered as part of the government’s consultation.”

Michelle Carvell also added, “Eliminating single-use plastics altogether from fresh produce is challenging for a number of reasons. Firstly, plastics’ role in the food production process substantially reduces food waste levels by increasing the lifespan of perishable goods across the supply chain. Plastics vacuum packaging not only prevents the discolouration of meat products, but also extends its lifetime by up to ten times that of meat wrapped in paper, which cannot be used to seal food in the same way. Removing plastics from manufacturing, a material which ensures food remains edible for a longer period of time, would create a huge amount of wastage within food production carbon cycles.”

Carvell also added to its statement, “Secondly, packaging’s relationship with food is a long-established marketing marriage which is integral to enhancing a product’s appeal at the point of sale. This will not be easily undone in the mind of the consumer. Would you buy a ready meal if you couldn’t see what it looked like? It’s unlikely. It is clear that some element of plastics must remain either as a window or a lid to ensure consumer trust at the point of purchase.”

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