The food packaging revolution: Between eco-design and innovation

The food industry is in the midst of a real revolution. Faced with the current economic and ecological constraints, food packaging is undergoing a fundamental change in line with the environmental demands of consumers.

In order to remain competitive, packaging must reinvent itself, while complying with new regulations. The era of eco-design for sustainable food packaging is upon us.

Food packaging news

Packaging is at the heart of the food market for one simple reason. The marketing of food products implies that almost all products are packaged. This basic requirement places the sector in pole position among the industries that use packaging.

When you consider that packaging accounts for 30% of the weight and up to 50% of the volume of the total quantity of household waste, the verdict is clear. The priority is eco-design to minimise the environmental impact of food packaging at source.

A few key figures on the current state of food packaging in France:

  • More than 5,000 kilotonnes of household waste per year in France
  • A household in France throws away an average of 10 packages per day
  • 85% of packaging thrown away by households is food packaging
  • The volume of household waste from French households has doubled over the last 40 years – with a decreasing curve for more than 10 years
  • The average French person generates 254 kg of household waste per year
  • Only a small percentage of packaging is recycled, with recycling rates varying greatly depending on the material – 80% for glass, compared to 22% for plastic

This is according to the CNIID – the National Centre for Independent Information on Waste.

FDR Emballages
The know-how of FDR Emballages
in the food industry | Credit: FDR Emballages

Eco-design applied to food packaging

Packaging is becoming a key element, a real link between the brand and the consumer. Priority is given to low environmental impact, which is why food packaging must be renewed and necessarily reinvented to combine profitability and sustainability.

Eco-design is no longer an option, but a given. It is a process that starts upstream of the supply chain and must take into account the various stages of manufacture and functions of the packaging.

Three main functions of food packaging should be prioritised:

  • Preservation of the food
  • Protection of the product-packaging couple
  • Low impact distribution of the packaged product

While respecting the new standards and constraints inherent to food packaging, such as compliance with the regulations governing contact between materials and food.

The eco-design of food packaging

Eco-design is a holistic approach that tends to preserve products, packaging, consumers and the environment.

The criteria for eco-design of food packaging are linked to the stages of the production chain, as well as the various actors in the circular economy:

  • Optimisation of materials and reduction of waste at source: use only the quantities of cardboard needed for packaging, and wage war on empty space, for example.
  • Saving energy, water or any type of resource or consumable.
  • Re-use of materials, re-use of recycled materials whenever possible, use of bio-based raw materials, and ease of recycling.

Innovations in food packaging

The 2022 edition of ALL4PACK Emballage Paris saw a succession of innovations adapted to the various worlds present at the event. The company Leygatech stood out in its category, with a proposal for a sustainable solution for sealing, while preserving the intrinsic barrier properties of food packaging.

Sustainable and responsible solution category:

Exhibitor : Leygatech.

Name of the product : Thinox.

Description : In partnership with Geneomat, Leygatech has developed Thinox, a sealing solution for reusable containers. This polyethylene film, barrier, 100% recyclable, is sealable on stainless steel, glass, ceramic, porcelain. This product meets the new reuse needs of the fast food market, local authorities and supermarkets.

You are an actor of the food industry, and wish to join our exhibitors during the next edition of ALL4PACK Emballage Paris?

Register and be part of the revolution in the packaging and intralogistics sector. See you in 2024!

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