alexa Polymer film packaging for food: An environmental assessment
Environmental Sciences

Environmental Sciences

Journal of Pollution Effects & Control

Author(s): CY Barlow, DC Morgan

Abstract Share this page

Plastics packaging is ubiquitous in the food industry, fulfilling a range of functions including a significant role in reducing food waste. The public perception of packaging, however, is dominated by end-of-life aspects, when the packaging becomes waste often found littering urban, rural and marine environments. A balanced analysis of the role of packaging demands that the whole lifecycle is examined, looking not only at the packaging itself but also at the product being packaged. This paper focuses on packaging in the meat and cheese industry, analysing the impact of films and bags. The functions of packaging are defined and the environmental impact of delivering these functions is assessed. The influence of packaging on levels of waste and energy consumption elsewhere in the system is examined, including the contentious issue of end-of-life for packaging. Strategies for minimizing the environmental impact of the packaging itself involve reduction in the amount of material used (thinner packaging), rather than emphasizing end-of-life issues. Currently, with polymer recycling not at a high level, evidence suggests that this strategy is justifiable. Biodegradable polymers may have some potential for improving environmental performance, but are still problematic. The conclusion is that although current packaging is in some ways wasteful and inefficient, the alternatives are even less desirable.

This article was published in Resources, Conservation and Recycling and referenced in Journal of Pollution Effects & Control

Relevant Expert PPTs

Relevant Speaker PPTs

Recommended Conferences

Relevant Topics

Peer Reviewed Journals
Make the best use of Scientific Research and information from our 700 + peer reviewed, Open Access Journals
International Conferences 2017-18
Meet Inspiring Speakers and Experts at our 3000+ Global Annual Meetings

Contact Us

© 2008-2017 OMICS International - Open Access Publisher. Best viewed in Mozilla Firefox | Google Chrome | Above IE 7.0 version