Study: Single-Use Packaging Increases Food Waste

A new study by sustainability charity WRAP has found that contrary to common belief, single-use plastic packaging increases fresh food waste.

The study was carried out over a period of 18 months, analysing the sale of apples, potatoes, bananas, broccoli and cucumbers in British supermarkets.

WRAP’s chief executive, Marcus Gover, explained that plastic packaging often forced consumers to buy more food than was needed or desired – increasing the odds of wasted food. 

Gover added that plastic packaging “doesn’t necessarily prolong the life of uncut fresh produce. It can in fact increase food waste in this case.”

British consumers throw away just under half a million tonnes of fresh vegetables and a quarter of a million tonnes of fresh fruit each year, and approximately one third of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions are associated with food and drink.

WRAP previously launched the UK’s Plastic Pact, in 2018, which aims to create a sustainable system for plastic packaging to reduce plastic waste.