Recent moves to shore up the European Commission's Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive, with a view to reducing waste and enhancing the sustainability of the packaging industry, should be met with a pragmatic approach by the dairy sector, the European Dairy Association (EDA) has said.
'The dairy industry is involved in many initiatives to further streamline the environmental impact of its packaging and strives to also find improved solutions for collection and recycling,' it said.
'Most dairy companies have targets on reusability, recyclability, composability, as well as recycled content, sorting and collection, design, and carbon footprint of packaging.'
Safety And Quality
However, future packaging strategy for the dairy sector must assure safety and quality as a 'non-negotiable baseline', it added, before logistics, recyclability and other criteria are addressed.
For example, it said the move to refillable or reusable packaging is arguably a non-starter in dairy, due to the microbiological sensitivity of products in the category.
Elsewhere, a move away from plastic to other suitable materials would increase the weight of dairy packaging almost fourfold, leading to a 60% increase in the volume of waste produced and a 57% increase in lifecycle energy consumption.
In tackling food waste, the EDA noted the changing nature of households, with one and two-person households on the rise, and suggested an increase in the availability of smaller pack sizes, which in turn would be most cost-effective and reduce waste.
'From a life cycle perspective this is far better for the environment', it said.
The EDA's full assessment can be found here.
© 2020 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.