A new research report from the National Zero Waste Council reveals the relationships between food waste, packaging and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
The National Zero Waste Council is a leadership initiative founded and supported by Metro Vancouver, which brings together governments, businesses and non-government organizations to advance waste prevention in Canada.
The study, Less Food Loss and Waste, Less Packaging Waste, looked at the effectiveness of four common types of packaging (plastic, glass, metal and paper) for extending the shelf-life of twelve product types. It found that while some types of foods, such as lettuce, apples, granulated sugar and dry pasta, benefit from bulk or unpackaged sales, the vast majority of foods last longer when packaged properly.
Reducing food waste is an important climate change action: preventing one tonne of food waste prevents four tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. In most cases, the study found that any GHG reductions achieved by not pre-packaging food are quickly outweighed by even a minor increase in food waste.
In Canada alone, approximately one-third of the food produced and distributed never gets eaten, due to loss and waste along the supply chain or at home.
Visit Love Food, Hate Waste to find out how you can reduce food waste.