Each year, 33% of all food produced ends up wasted, equating to 1.3 billion tonnes worldwide. But did you also know that about 95% of the food we throw away ends up in landfills or combustion facilities? What does that mean for our carbon footprint?

Food loss and waste around the world accounts for 4.4 gigatonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year, which means that “if food loss and waste were its own country, it would be the third-largest greenhouse gas emitter.”

As a leader in the food packaging industry, I am frequently asked if packaging is part of this ever-growing problem. I’m quick to share that food packaging plays a vital role in reducing food waste.

Vacuum Packaging Extends Shelf Life

Did you know that the carbon footprint of 1kg of beef is 370 times the carbon footprint of the bag used to package and protect it? In Latin America, 20% of retail food waste is due to spoilage and much of this problem can be addressed through packaging solutions.

At Sealed Air, our revolutionary vacuum-packaging method has forever changed the availability and quality of food around the world. More than 75 years ago, Sealed Air pioneered portion-control packaging, putting control in the hands of butchers, chefs and consumers.

It is a top priority that the food we produce makes it to the consumer’s table before it spoils. A perfect example of this is Cryovac® Darfresh® on Tray, which has active barrier and vacuum- packaging technology that doubles the shelf life of the packaged food, reducing retail shrink by 50% and extending the shelf life of meat from days to weeks. The tray itself is recyclable, reducing the carbon footprint by 20%.

Labor and Distribution Costs are Reduced

With more and more food processors investing in operational efficiency, Cryovac® RS shrinkable films help to create higher productivity and lower capital. In addition, innovative packaging like Darfresh on Tray can also lessen distribution costs by accommodating 25-50% more product into shipping boxes with reduced pack volume, as compared to standard modified atmosphere packaging.

Convenience Can Reduce Waste

The right type of packaging can help prevent overproduction of food. Darfresh on Tray comes in a variety of tray sizes, enabling individually-packed portions and utilizing easy-to-open tabs for consumer convenience. Likewise, Grip & Tear has an easy-open tab design that creates convenience for retailers and is a safer, easier option for foodservice and deli counter employees.

Let's work together to reduce food waste with quality, innovative packaging. You can find more of our solutions here: https://sealedair.com/food-care/food-care-products