Packaging is essential for protecting the products for storage, distribution, use, and sale. Most of this packing is done using plastic. Plastic is one of the biggest environmental threats. Humans have created around 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic. A considerable amount of it is used for food packing. And to top, it all, only about 9% of this amount has been recycled. This plastic ends up in landfills, oceans, and waterways. Around a 13 million metric tonnes of additional plastic are being created every year, which means one truck full of garbage every minute.
Every year, a single person uses an average of 160 bags. This is a very alarming issue that needs to be handled. We need to give out best to reduce the further creation of plastic and promote reuse and recycling of plastic. We cannot do a whole lot, but a few things can be done to help with the cause. Here below are tips to reduce food packaging waste.
1. Plastic Bags
Disposable plastic bags are not only used excessively in food packing but all other aspects, including shopping, laundry, storage, etc. These bags take around 400 years to decompose naturally. Additionally, they cause pollute the soil, water; animals are harmed due to choking accidents, etc. Therefore, there has to be a better way to reduce plastic bags. Using paper, cloth, or jute bags are an excellent alternative to plastic bags because they are easy to use, last longer, and are eco-friendly. Additionally, food containers can be handed off without plastic bags to reduce the plastic footprint.
we cannot stop the use of plastic altogether. So we need to make sure whatever amount of plastic we create is used for its complete optimization. We should always reuse plastic take-out containers. Additionally, the spoons and forks provided by them can also be reused. We can store food, carry it as a lunch box, and use it instead of buying anything new to donate food. These can also be used outside the kitchen for storage purposes.
3. Minimal Packaging
The food delivery system is formulated to pack the food in 2-3 layers of plastic. The box, the plastic wrap on the container, and the bag carrying the box. This three-layer packaging might be suitable for food delivery but is very harmful to the environment. So instead, we should encourage people to use paper or jute bags, avoid plastic wrap. This might increase the chances of spillage, but it protects the environment. By reducing material use, you also reduce your packing costs.
4. Biodegradable Packaging
We cannot reduce the creation of plastic for food packing. Still, we can undoubtedly use biodegradable packing material like corn-based plastic. People can also choose fresh food delivery boxes for the same. Additionally, they also save energy and emit less carbon which helps with air pollution. They break down faster at high industrial-scale temperatures. They are non-toxic, reduce landfill problems, and can be reused for biogas.
5. Stretch Wrapping Machine
Stretch wrappers are a new form of packing material that protects your food from dust, damage, and other forms of tapering. They ensure that the food container is safe from any harm from dirt, dust, or moisture. Stretch wrap can also be done manually, but it often results in inconsistency. Additionally, these wraps also provide protection from UV rays when the food is outdoors. They also avoid pilferage by concealing the product. And the best part is they are completely recyclable and reusable.
The process of eliminating plastic and adopting biodegradable products cannot be done in a day. It is going to take years to make a complete shift. But this is necessary, and everybody needs to do their bit to help Mother Nature. Incorporating things we mentioned in your current lifestyle can be your bit. We need to do this urgently, and we need to start now. The animals are already suffering because of humans producing plastic. The day isn’t far from where human beings will be seen choking and dying from plastic. So let’s take a step back, think things through, regroup and restart this eliminating plastic. One person cannot do it alone, but we can bring a considerable change together.