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Issue 02/2020

  • Text
  • Use
  • Horticulture
  • Agriculture
  • Thermoforming
  • Packaging
  • Films
  • Biobased
  • Biodegradable
  • Products
  • Plastics
  • Materials
  • Packaging
  • Bioplastics
Highlights: Agri-/Horticulture Thermoforming Rigid Packaging Basics Land use (update)

Materials Bioplastic to

Materials Bioplastic to help reduce food spoilage By: Edward Kosior Nextek London, UK In a world focused on promoting resource efficiency, food waste has emerged as one of our most pressing challenges. According to The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) approximately one-third of all produced foods (1.3 billion tonnes of edible food) for human consumption is lost and wasted every year across the entire supply chain. What makes this all the more poignant is the fact that the current amount of food loss is sufficient to alleviate oneeighth of the world’s population from undernourishment and address the challenge to satisfy the increased food demand, which could reach about 150–170% of current demand by 2050. As a major contributor, food spoilage represents an environmental problem as well as an ethical issue, which is why being able to increase the shelf-life of food is a vital step. Correct packaging, testing and temperature control are fundamental to enhancing the shelf-life of fresh produce, which spurred the Newton Fund, a research and innovation partnership managed by the British Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), to fund a British and Indian consortium to find a solution to the problem. The project started in September 2017 and trials have now been successfully completed for a unique breathable film made of compostable polymers and waste starch from India. BioFreshPak is an innovative plastic film that slows ripening and enhances storage stability of food during transport, even at high temperatures. It’s unique blend includes TPS and other room temperature compostable polymers. It has selective humidity and permeability control that maintains the food’s nutrients and has the capacity to increase storage-life performance of specific foods by 2 to 5 days without refrigeration. Compared with PLA, which is only industrially compostable BioFreshPak is home compostable at ambient conditions, is permeable and aligned by design to the fruits and vegetables it protects. Furthermore it is produced with under utilised agri-waste such as tapioca starch from cassava processing waste. There is also a recyclable version that has the same low cost and improved permeability. Consumer demand for fresh, convenient, and healthy foods that are nutritious and safe has led to an increased amount of fresh-cut vegetables, fruits and ready-made convenience foods. These kinds of foods generally have a short shelf-life due to poor temperature and packaging management. Even in developed countries with good packaging and temperature management conditions, the amount of fresh cut products that are landfilled remains high. In India some 40 % of food is wasted between harvest and market and the UK’s contribution to food waste is estimated at around GBP 19 billion and growing. Reducing food spoilage and therefore waste goes a long way towards addressing interconnected sustainability challenges, such as climate change, food security, and natural resource shortages. BioFreshPak aims to become a fundamental player in the reduction of food waste and the development of an appropriate strategy for reducing this global issue and work is underway for EU standads certification such as OK compost and TUV. The target for the Indian films will be ambient temperature compostability. Consortium Nextek www.nextek.online Brunel University www.brunel.ac.uk Greenwich University www.nri.org www.solutions4plastic.co.uk/ Solutions 4 Plastic home/4575501993 Earth Champions Foundation www.earthchampions.org Manbras Plastronics www.manbrasenp.com MIT WPU www.mitwpu.edu.in Punjab Agricultural University www.pau.edu/ 36 bioplastics MAGAZINE [02/20] Vol. 15

Market Consumer awareness on the rise Tetra Pak, Pully (Switzerland) teamed up with market researcher Ipsos (Paris, France) for a global study on the two most pressing consumer demands: the environment and health. While historically seen and communicated as separate areas they seem to be increasingly converging. The environment is the number one global concern, and urgency is growing. Consumers increasingly want to “do the right thing” and are making more informed choices over packaging, looking for environmental information on labels and are purchasing environmentally-sound products even if they cost more. The more concerned about the environment consumers become, the more health-conscious they become too. Two thirds of consumers now believe that we are reaching an environmental tipping point. They overwhelmingly see themselves as being the most responsible for both the environment and their own health, with little difference between the two (71 % and 74 % respectively). Nearly 60 % of consumers see a strong connection between their health and environmental problems. Food and Beverage (F&B) is a key catalyst here. As one of the only industries that can connect the environment at a personal level to the individual, by addressing health. F&B brands have an opportunity to drive change through the way they communicate with their consumers on these topics, to meet this growing and pressing need. The Tetra Pak Index 2019 is a great tool to support brands with navigating this journey, it reveals six new segments of consumers, each with their own attitudes around both health and the environment. Ranging from highly engaged Active Ambassadors willing to take action, challenge boundaries and influence others on the one end, to Sceptics that are inclined to decline environmental issues as fake news on the other end. While the intersection of personal and planet health is generally on the rise globally, the focus varies between countries. In Brazil the environment holds a vital cultural place, due to the vast scale and biodiversity of nature here. Which leads consumers to be more interested in eco-branded and natural products. In the UK different diets such as flexitarian, vegetarian and vegan are on the rise as young consumers perceive a connection between food, health and the environment. At the same time China cites air pollution as the number one consumer concern for both health and the environment. The takeaway from the study is that consumers are becoming more conscious about their choices, they are eager to learn more about the environment, including package-related topics, which could be a huge opportunity for F&B brands. The six segments, as defined in the study by Tetra Pak and Ipsos [1], have different drivers and barriers, and they trust different sources of information. Their distribution differs from country to country. This implies a more tailored approach to communicate with the different consumer groups. While some search factbased information from scientists, others rely on input from friends and social media. AT Reference: [1] https://www.tetrapak.com/about/newsarchive/tetra-pak-researchconvergence-environment-and-health-growing www.tetrapak.com bioplastics MAGAZINE [02/20] Vol. 15 37

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