Sustainable Food Packaging: Materials and Waste Management Solutions
Keywords:compostable package, biodegradable package, food packaging, food packaging waste, plastic packaging, sustainability
The current food packaging model in most cases is a linear material flow model and is far from the sustainable alternative – circular economy – approach where materials are recycled and recovered at the end of each service life. High concern is rising on packaging waste and especially plastic packaging and negative environmental impact. A number of factors, including policy and legislative changes, rising concerns on food and packaging waste, environmental contamination, and world demand for food and energy resources, undoubtedly make an impact on development of biodegradable and compostable packaging made from renewable environment friendly resources and a sustainable waste management opportunity at the end of product life. Food packaging industry already has options of compostable packaging that meets biodegradation and composting standards and does not impact environmental contamination, but a variety of existing bio-labels such as biobased, biodegradable, and compostable appear misleading for consumers, and terms biodegradable and compostable are often used as synonyms, although they are not the same.
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