AIP recognises International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste

Australian Institute of Packaging

Friday, 29 September, 2023

AIP recognises International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste

International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste is an annual event developed by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations to bolster efforts to reduce food loss and waste and ensure food security for all, particularly the most vulnerable.

The Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP) recognises the importance of this international day of awareness on 29 September. AIP Executive Director Nerida Kelton said, “With Australia producing 7.6 million tonnes of food waste across the supply and consumption chain and a federal government National Food Waste Strategy to halve food waste that goes to landfill by 2030, now is the time for packaging technologists to review pack designs to minimise food waste and loss.

“Packaging plays such an integral role in preventing and or minimising food waste. The primary purpose of packaging is to contain, protect, preserve, promote and communicate, handle and transport, and provide convenience for a product; all the while ensuring the safe delivery of food to the consumer. Without adequate packaging design features, food can potentially be wasted all the way through the supply chain to the consumer. By modifying packaging designs and ensuring that the Save Food Packaging guidelines are followed, food waste and loss can be minimised.

“The AIP have been working on guidelines that will help packaging technologists to design Save Food Packaging to minimise food waste from paddock to plate using innovative and intuitive design features that can contain and protect, preserve, extend shelf life, easily open and reseal, provide consumer convenience and portion control; all the while meeting global sustainable packaging targets. The implementation of Save Food Packaging design criteria and communication material will lead to better packaging design, material and format selection to assist retail, foodservice and consumers to minimise and prevent food waste.”

AIP President John Bigley said, “This day is important for us all to recognise and highlight the huge global issue that continues to challenge us. There are so many starving and malnourished fellow humans around the world, yet we continue to waste food at record levels and added to that, food waste has a massive impact on GHG emissions. Even in our own backyard in Australia, 1 in 5 shopping bags of food are wasted creating around 2.5 MT of household food waste. The AIP is proud to be a packaging partner of the Save Food Packaging Consortium as we recognise that packaging plays a significant role in saving food from unnecessary waste. Packaging’s prime purpose is to protect, preserve and extend shelf life, whilst ensuring best usage of the foodstuff, all helping to minimise food waste. The institute continues to support the drive improvements in packaging design to fight food waste in our region and that comes through a potent mix of innovation and collaboration.”

The AIP encourages everyone to try and implement a few easy tips to minimise food waste:

  • Learn the difference between a “Use By” date and a “Best before” date.
  • Buy resealable packaging.
  • Look at innovative ways to use leftovers in more meals.
  • Buy freezer-ready meals.
  • Buy smaller packs that suit your household numbers.
  • Plan ahead and only buy what you need.
  • Don’t cook more than you need.
  • Store food in the right places, eg, freezer vs refrigerator vs room temperature.
  • Set your refrigerator to the correct temperature.
  • Donate extra food to neighbours, friends or foodbanks.
  • Compost your food waste.
  • Get some chickens.
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