Today is ‘Stop Food Waste Day’. Delphi Steel found an interesting article advocating the use of steel in food packaging. The Covid-19 outbreak has led to an increase in the food waste problem. This was partly due to panic buying and partly the effect of pubs, cafés, restaurants, etc having to close. Many of these businesses provided home deliveries to use up left-overs, and panic buying seems to have stopped. As a result Supermarkets have restocked and there appears to be plenty for everyone again.
Great news but sadly the food waste problem remains. WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme) produced a progress report in 2019 claiming around a third of food is wasted globally (link to the article here). So let’s put that into perspective, in the UK that amounts to 10 million tonnes of food. Value: £20 billion, GHG emissions: 25 million tonnes. A problem? Most definitely!
Benefits of Steel Packaging
In honour of Stop Food Waste Day, here is a list of some benefits steel packaging has that reduces food waste:
· Minimised loss at processing stage
o harvest-transport-canning time is usually less than 3 hours
· Preservation of food
o provides 100% protection from air, water, and light damage resulting in a shelf-life of up to 5 years
o maintains taste and nutritional value
· Robust packaging –
o steel is tough so requires little extra packaging.
o reduces damage or spoiling and loss during transport
· Low energy transport – requires no freezing
· Undesirable food (misshapen or “ugly”) is not thrown away but canned and processed as normal.
· Canned foods are a good portion-size so consumers can buy what they need and reduce wastage at home
Furthermore, steel is 100% recylcable. There are over 1500 scrapyards in the Uk all helping to keep the steel recylcing rate at a fantastic 76%. Check out this video from Apeal.org for more information about steel recycling.