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New checklist to optimise your packaging

The Food and Drink Federation has collaborated with packaging specialists to develop a checklist for designing packaging for optimum functionality, reuse, recovery and reduced transport costs.

The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) has collaborated with packaging specialists to develop a checklist for designing packaging for optimum functionality, reuse, recovery and reduced transport costs. 

The checklist was developed with input from the Industry Council for Research on Packaging and the Environment (INCPEN).

It provides practical guidance for companies to improve resource efficiency at all stages of a packaged product’s journey, including transportation and end-of-life, while ensuring that the essential functionality of the packaging is not compromised. 

While including references to relevant regulation and guidance, the checklist also encourages companies to go above and beyond legal requirements.

‘Demonstrate responsiveness’

Jane Bickerstaffe, director of INCPEN, said: “The checklist will help companies to improve packaging for food and drink and other products, make it more consumer-friendly and make supply chains more resource efficient.

“Supply chain companies are more aware of, and responsive to, environmental concerns than many businesses. This checklist will help them demonstrate that responsiveness to the public.”

The checklist is the first deliverable under the FDF’s Ambition 2025 sustainability programme for the food and drink industry.

Helen Munday, director of food safety, science and sustainability and chief scientific officer at FDF, said the guidance “will contribute to a net improvement in the use of resources across the value chain. We encourage all food and drink operators to use it.”

Policy drivers

Packaging is also currently high on the agenda for government. 

The Spring Budget announced new statutory packaging recycling targets for 2020, including 75 per cent for paper (currently 69.5 per cent), 64 per cent for aluminium (currently 55 per cent), 85 per cent for steel (currently 76 per cent), and 48 per cent for wood (currently 22 per cent).

Meanwhile, MPs have launched an inquiry into the environmental impact of disposable plastic packaging.

At the European level, MEPs have recently voted to restore more ambitious recycling and landfill targets that had been watered down in the re-developed draft Circular Economy Package legislation. 

The European Parliament unanimously voted to support higher recycling targets to increase the share of waste to be recycled to 70 per cent by 2030, including an 80 per cent recycling target for all forms of packaging.

To download the packaging checklist, click here