Wasteful packaging

Interview with Alodia Pérez (Friends of the Earth Spain) about main conclusions and proposals included in new “Unwrapped” report

“The use of plastic packaging does not necessarily help people to reduce household food waste”, states the report recently published by Friends of the Earth Europe, which was conceived as a tool to generate less food and plastic waste.

Plastic packaging is often described as a means to avoid food waste, but it fails to provide a comprehensive solution. The use of plastic packaging and the use of food waste have grown hand in hand in Europe. Europe´s total demand for plastic amounts to 49 million tons per year, of which 40 % is used for packaging. Each person discards, on average, approximately 30 kilos of plastic packaging per year.

Friends of the Earth Europe published a study that concludes that the use of plastic packaging that would be useful to ensure the preservation of food does not reduce food waste. In the past 10 years, the increase in the use of plastic and the waste this produces, in landfills and oceans, even forming plastic “islands” in the seas of the world, is a reason of concern for the environmental federation. What do we do with the waste we generate daily? How do we produce less food and plastic waste?

Alodia Pérez, Natural Resources and Waste Manager at Friends of the Earth Europe made reference to the main findings and conclusions of the report titled: “Unwrapped. How throwaway plastic is failing to solve Europe´s food waste problem”.

“At global level, only 5 per cent of plastic residues are recycled. This is a perverse model: it is a product that it is not used for long, it pollutes and it ends up in our oceans”, said Pérez to Real World Radio.

“It is unreasonable to justify the increase of one flow of waste, plastic packaging, in order to reduce another one, food, even more when this reduction does not take place”.

FoE´s report offers “real solutions and alternatives”. Alodia highlighted that the main thing is to “change the current model that is eye-catching, and try to increase the consumption of fresh, unpackaged products”.

FoE Europe aims to use this report as a tool with concrete data to counter the arguments used so far by the packaging and food industry that claims to use plastic packaging to preserve food. The aim with this report is also to change plastic packaging for a more lasting, permanent and reusable packaging model.

(CC) 2018 Real World Radio