Glass industry leaders are calling for more glass packaging in a bid to keep food fresher for longer and combat the UK’s ongoing food waste problem.
Following the UK’s first Fresher for Longer conference on 5 February and the release of new food waste research by World Bank, more attention is being given to packaging and the role it plays in minimising food waste.
However, glass industry leaders say that glass packaging deserves more prominence as a recommended material as it’s impermeable and therefore has a natural ability to preserve the freshness of the food and drink it contains.
Its inert properties means there is no need for additional chemical layers, making it one of most naturally safe and healthy packaging materials on the shelf.
Friends of Glass, the popular European glass container industry consumer forum, has long championed the use of glass in food packaging and storage. The group is now calling for wider recognition and awareness of the benefits of glass amongst food producers and brands.
Glass remains a firm favourite with many artisan food and drink producers who value its unique properties. The Organic Blending Company offers its range of herbs and spices only in glass jars for aesthetic as well as vitally important flavour reasons, and Appletiser has announced it will no longer use plastic bottles for its drinks packaging, and in the UK the brand opts solely for glass bottles.
Approximately 60% of household food waste arises from products ‘not used in time’, mainly perishable or short shelf-life products, with a value of around £6.7 billion.
Research by WRAP shows that how long food stays fresh is a priority for consumers, but many are not making best use of the information on pack, or the packaging itself, to achieve this. Nor are they aware that packaging can maximise in-home shelf life.