Reducing food waste using flexible packaging

Waste in the food supply chain is a global problem. Everyone should be pulling their weight in the fight against food waste. The same is true for Flexoplast. The producer offers flexible packaging for the frozen sector.

Researchers estimate about a third of the total global food production is wasted. Waste continues in the homes of consumers. Of all usable food, more than 40 kilograms ends up on rubbish heaps annually. Fresh produce is in the top five of food wasted most often, after dairy and bread. Flexoplast in Wieringerwerf, the Netherlands, is part of the Clondalkin group, and focuses mostly on the frozen sector within the food channel. Within this category, much use is made of flexible film packaging and cardboard packaging regarding materials.

Small and sustainable packaging
The producer of flexible packaging chose the frozen sector because of the positive contribution that can be made to food waste reduction. “Our buyers produce frozen chips, fruit, vegetables and fish, and, increasingly, all kinds of other cooled and frozen products. These customers mostly have their own brand products and much is packed under their own label, and the products are consumed all over the world,” Jack van der Heijden of Flexoplast says. A (multilayer) flexible packaging with barrier characteristics contributes to the preservation of nutritional values, a longer shelf life and a reduction in the amount of waste. “It’s quite satisfying that our film helps combat food waste. Besides, we’ve noticed buyers asking for packaging with a natural look and ‘touch’ more often, and smaller packaging as a result of changing portion sizes and sustainable packaging. There’s also an increasing need for reducing costs per packing unit, and reducing the use of colour.”

The Sales & Marketing Director also mentions that within the supply chain there’s pressure on stocks to reduce working capital on the one hand, while on the other, it’s expected more and more that throughput times are shortened. “We respond to this by standardising important steps in our process. Think, for example, of the production of (PE) film. Besides, we have intensive cooperations with our buyers. Sharing relevant information at an early stage is essential for adjusting demand and capacity to each other.”

More information:
Jack van der Heijden

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