Packaging plays a minor role in the environmental footprint
The environmental impacts of food mainly arise from primary production. For most food products, the production of packaging plays a minor role in their total environmental impact: only a few per cent.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, up to a third of all food produced ends up in waste – which burdens both the environment and the economy.
“In developing countries, waste is caused by insufficient infrastructure, among other factors. In developed countries, part of the environmental footprint arises from consumers’ food waste, in addition to primary production,” says
Anu Rehtijärvi, Market Intelligence Manager at Metsä Board.
Finns throw away 20–25 kilos of food per year that is still edible. In other words, the food thrown away by a Finnish family of four is worth up to EUR 500 per year.
“The annual environmental impact of the food waste generated in our entire food chain is equivalent to the annual emissions from up to 350,000 passenger cars,” says
Juha-Matti Katajajuuri, Senior Scientist at Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke).