Food packaging, an essential part of Europe’s Green Deal ambition

Food packaging is part of the solution to enable sustainable food systems
Food packaging, an essential part of Europe’s Green Deal ambition
Food packaging plays a key role in our food systems, providing food availability and protection while preventing food waste.Photo - Huhtamaki

Food production is responsible for a quarter of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, but today it is estimated that approximately one-third of all food produced globally is wasted. This significant number represents 8% of total global greenhouse gas emissions. Packaging helps protect food from damage and spoilage from transport to storage and from stores to our homes. Packaging, therefore, ensures that the resources used to produce food, and the carbon footprint created, are not wasted.

Food packaging is integral to the product it contains. With the demand for food on the rise, the need for sustainable packaging solutions also increases for consumers around Europe and the world. Food packaging is essential for food protection and availability. Crucially, it is part of the solution to enable sustainable food systems, which the EU Green Deal seeks to achieve.

This year’s EU Green Week focuses on the topic of pollution. The recently adopted EU Zero Pollution Action Plan aims to tackle the harmful effects of pollution on human health and the environment. This plan also includes the 2030 goal to decrease waste and plastic litter at sea by 50% and lower the number of microplastics released into the environment by 30%.

When it comes to solutions for post-consumer packaging, Huhtamaki is committed to having 100% of our products recyclable, compostable or reusable by 2030. Regarding emissions, we also aim to use 100% renewable energy and carbon-neutral production by 2030. Evidence-based regulation and a legislative framework that provides an enabling framework for innovation are crucial to getting there. With innovation and a focus on scientific evidence to find environmentally viable solutions, Huhtamaki can reach these targets.

Charles Héaulmé, chief executive officer and president of Huhtamaki, says, “Huhtamaki supports the EU Green Deal. We have an ambitious and comprehensive sustainability agenda. Food packaging plays a key role in our food systems, providing food availability and protection while preventing food waste. At Huhtamaki, we believe that the environmental benefits of food packaging significantly outweigh its impacts. We believe that an enabling legislative framework underpinned by better regulation will support innovation and circular economy. To reduce the impacts of post-consumer packaging, we are committed to further increasing the recyclability of our products and collaborating across the value chain to strengthen collection and recycling solutions.”

Huhtamaki is committed to a resource-efficient circular economy. Food packaging is part of the solution to ensure sustainable food systems and to achieving the EU Green Deal.

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