The European Parliament has made proposals to reduce the EU 88 million tonnes of waste per year in half by 2030. In particular, MEP’s have called upon the European Commission to lift existing restrictions on food donations and eradicate consumer confusion surrounding “best before” and “use by” labels.
Aside from food donations and date labels, new food packaging technologies can also be part of the solution to this pressing issue of food waste and food safety. Food spoilage, caused by microbial contamination, is one of the primary causes of food waste and foodborne illness in Europe – an estimated 23 million people fall ill every year as a result of foodborne disease which could be prevented.
NanoPack is an Horizon-2020 funded project that aims to develop food packaging films to enhance food safety and prolong the shelf-life of food products by up to 25%.. The novel packaging films will display antimicrobial activity against a range of microorganisms, including bacteria, yeast and moulds which cause food spoilage. Therefore, this packaging will ultimately prolong the shelf-life of foods, directly contributing towards the European Parliament’s 2030 goals in tackling the problem of food waste.