Save food packaging criteria and framework

Project Contributors

The challenge

Whilst the primary functions of packaging are to contain, protect and provide information about the product, the overall role of packaging in reducing food waste needs to be better understood by food producers, manufacturers, brand owners, retailers, government and consumers.

Finding the right balance between minimising the use of packaging without increasing food waste is the key challenge for this project. This is highlighted by the findings of a 2016 survey by Sealed Air reporting that 88% of respondents thought packaging material was more harmful to the environment than discarded food, even though 50-90% of the energy required to feed us goes into food production not the packaging.

Enhancing packaging’s role in reducing food waste is the next challenge for packaging technologists, designers, and engineers. Industry needs access to guidelines and tools to assist them in their design, selection, and use of packaging materials for food.

 

Our plan

The Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP) has established an extensive Save Food Packaging Consortium that is made up of leaders of design and innovation to create save food packaging guidelines that are practical for the industries they serve.  

This project will produce packaging design criteria and communication material that will lead to better packaging design, material selection and format selection using appropriate portioning, sealability, resealability features, date labelling, extend shelf life and provide the information required to assist retail, food service and consumers to minimise food waste.

The expected impacts of this project are that:

  • the packaging criteria for reducing food waste meet the needs of and is used by packaging and food technologists/designers/marketers/sustainability managers.
  • communication, education and training programs are delivered to industry to demonstrate how to use the criteria and integrate within product-packaging development processes.
  • food producers, manufacturers, retailers, and packaging companies are designing innovative save food packaging and communicating this to customers and consumers.
  • companies are recognised for their save food packaging innovations through the Australian/New Zealand Packaging Innovation & Design Awards (PIDA) and the international WPO WorldStar Packaging Awards.
  • revision occurs, where required, of the criteria for the Australian/New Zealand PIDA Save Food Packaging Special Award.
  • contributions are made to consumer education and engagement projects to change the narrative around packaging’s role in minimising food waste.

This project will work closely with the consumer perceptions of the role of packaging in reducing food waste project.

Industry survey

You are invited to participate in the ‘Stakeholder Review and On-line Survey of Product-Packaging Design Processes’ component of the ‘Save Food Packaging Design Criteria and Framework’ research project within the Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre.

We are interested in learning more about current product-packaging design and development processes; consideration of designing packaging to save food; barriers, gaps and opportunities will be undertaken.

Please click here for an information sheet which describes the project in straightforward language, or ‘Plain English’. Please read this sheet carefully and be confident that you understand its contents before deciding whether to participate.

Once you have read this and the recruitment details, then you can complete the survey online.

The outcomes of the project will be made public through the commissioned report, public briefing document, and a journal article, all completed for the Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre.

If you have further questions, please contact Karli Verghese on (03) 9925 9080.

AIP Partners

As this project progresses and achieves its milestones, we’ll share the good news on this page by adding information, links, images, interviews and more.

Project information

Please download our project information sheet.

Timeline

August 2019 – August 2023

Project leader

Nerida Kelton, Australian Institute of Packaging

Students

PhD candidate to be announced soon

Participants – Extension Network Partners

Logo Australian Food Cold Chain Council

Logo Australian Food and Grocery Council

Logo Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology

Research Partner

Logo RMIT University