Canadian Researchers Explore How Food Packaging Affects Food Waste


National Zero Waste Council Researching Relationship Between Food Waste and Packaging

The National Zero Waste Council has engaged Value Chain Management International (VCMI) to undertake new research exploring how food packaging affects the amount of food wasted along the supply chain in Canada.

This national research project seeks to understand the pros and cons of various types of packaging materials and techniques on aspects like freshness, safety, identification, storage and shelf-life. This project, a recommended action in the National Zero Waste Council’s A Food Loss and Waste Strategy for Canada, released in 2018, is supported by VanCity, RECYC-QUÉBEC and Éco Entreprises Québec.

From meat to fresh produce and seafood, this project will begin where other projects in the US and Europe have left off, toward a made-in-Canada approach to better prevent food loss and waste while supporting sustainable and environmentally sound decision making by all in the supply chain.

“Exploring the current technologies and innovations in the world of packaging and materials is just one of the facets we’re studying together with the National Zero Waste Council. We will also investigate business models that can help to shorten supply chains and decrease the need for packaging,” says Martin Gooch of VCMI.

Highlights of this new packaging report (in English and French), will be presented on October 30, 2019 at the annual Metro Vancouver Zero Waste Conference.

More than a third of food produced and distributed in Canada – valued by VCMI as worth more than $49 billion – never gets eaten, due to loss and waste along the supply chain and within the home. In environmental terms, the carbon footprint of total food loss and waste is greater than the carbon footprint of food consumed.

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