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The Importance of Packaging Functions for Food Waste of Different Products in Households

Author

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  • Fredrik Wikström

    (Environmental and Energy Systems, CTF Service Research Center, Karlstad University, S-651 88 Karlstad, Sweden)

  • Helén Williams

    (Environmental and Energy Systems, CTF Service Research Center, Karlstad University, S-651 88 Karlstad, Sweden)

  • Jakob Trischler

    (Environmental and Energy Systems, CTF Service Research Center, Karlstad University, S-651 88 Karlstad, Sweden)

  • Zane Rowe

    (Environmental and Energy Systems, CTF Service Research Center, Karlstad University, S-651 88 Karlstad, Sweden)

Abstract

The United Nations sustainability goal SDG 12.3 is to reduce the amount of food that is wasted by half, due to environmental and social reasons. This paper aims to analyse the most important packaging functions that affect food waste in households for different products, as the reason for wastage can be expected to differ between different products. The reasons for food wastage of different categories and products have been compiled through literature studies, and possible improvements of packaging functions to reduce food waste have been identified. In addition, an expert workshop judged the most important packaging functions to reduce food waste for a number of products. They also discussed the obstacles and possibilities to realise the packaging improvements. This study confirms that how packaging functions influence food waste on the product level is a highly unexplored question. Most likely, there is high potential to reduce food waste through better adaptions of packaging functions to user needs and habits. Both the literature study and the expert workshop show that less food per pack and better information regarding food safety and storage have high potential to reduce food waste, but also that product specific considerations are necessary.

Suggested Citation

  • Fredrik Wikström & Helén Williams & Jakob Trischler & Zane Rowe, 2019. "The Importance of Packaging Functions for Food Waste of Different Products in Households," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 11(9), pages 1-16, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:11:y:2019:i:9:p:2641-:d:229280
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jessica Aschemann-Witzel & Ilona De Hooge & Pegah Amani & Tino Bech-Larsen & Marije Oostindjer, 2015. "Consumer-Related Food Waste: Causes and Potential for Action," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 7(6), pages 1-21, May.
    2. Sofie Østergaard & Ole Jørgen Hanssen, 2018. "Wasting of Fresh-Packed Bread by Consumers—Influence of Shopping Behavior, Storing, Handling, and Consumer Preferences," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 10(7), pages 1-16, June.
    3. Juliane Jörissen & Carmen Priefer & Klaus-Rainer Bräutigam, 2015. "Food Waste Generation at Household Level: Results of a Survey among Employees of Two European Research Centers in Italy and Germany," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 7(3), pages 1-21, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sophie Langley & Nhat Tram Phan-Le & Linda Brennan & Lukas Parker & Michaela Jackson & Caroline Francis & Simon Lockrey & Karli Verghese & Natalia Alessi, 2021. "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Food Packaging and Consumers," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(22), pages 1-24, November.
    2. Lubna Rashid, 2019. "Entrepreneurship Education and Sustainable Development Goals: A literature Review and a Closer Look at Fragile States and Technology-Enabled Approaches," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 11(19), pages 1-23, September.
    3. Zeng, Tian & Durif, Fabien & Robinot, Elisabeth, 2021. "Can eco-design packaging reduce consumer food waste? an experimental study," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 162(C).
    4. Wanjun Chu & Helén Williams & Karli Verghese & Renee Wever & Wiktoria Glad, 2020. "Tensions and Opportunities: An Activity Theory Perspective on Date and Storage Label Design through a Literature Review and Co-Creation Sessions," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(3), pages 1-37, February.
    5. Ahmad Aiman Zulkifli & Mohd Zulkhairi Mohd Yusoff & Latifah Abd Manaf & Mohd Rafein Zakaria & Ahmad Muhaimin Roslan & Hidayah Ariffin & Yoshihito Shirai & Mohd Ali Hassan, 2019. "Assessment of Municipal Solid Waste Generation in Universiti Putra Malaysia and Its Potential for Green Energy Production," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 11(14), pages 1-15, July.
    6. Tian Zeng & Fabien Durif, 2019. "The Influence of Consumers’ Perceived Risks towards Eco-Design Packaging upon the Purchasing Decision Process: An Exploratory Study," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 11(21), pages 1-29, November.

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