There was a surge in the consciousness of the harm that plastic pollution does to our planet for a reason that invention of plastic, and this has spurred quite a lot of campaigns to take away single-use plastics from our every day lives. And naturally, this extends to meals packaging, most notably with a Waitrose grocery store within the metropolis of Oxford lately launching a package-free trial.
Many individuals bemoan the significant quantity of packaging that supermarkets use, significantly for fruit and vegetables, most of which have their very own pure safety. Nonetheless, a severe motive that supermarkets use a lot of packaging is to guard meals and forestall waste – notably with contemporary meals. Eradicating plastic solely from our meals might not be the very best answer in the case of defending the environment and conserving precious assets.
Meals provide chains are complicated networks with a lot of components. In Europe alone, 12m farms produce agricultural merchandise that is processed by round 300,000 food and drinks corporations. These are then distributed by 2.8m meals retailers and meals companies, serving around 500m consumers.
Meals typically travels from the fields the place it’s produced to a storage facility for processing. It’s then saved till it’s wanted. Then it’s packaged, transported and distributed to outlets, the place it’s marketed, earlier than being purchased and consumed. This takes a various period, relying on the site it’s farmed and the way lengthy it stays in somebody’s fridge or cabinet.
Plastic packaging is used within the meals provide chain as a result of it helps the protected distribution of meals over long distances and minimizes meals waste by holding snacks contemporary for longer. Minimizing this wastage is essential for environmental safety, in addition to meals safety.