Packaging Scotland

Food & Drink

Food manufacturers urged to consider alternatives to plastic

Miguel Campos

THE responsibility to reduce single-use plastics should lie with food manufacturers.

That’s the view of Miguel Campos, export sales manager at Advanta Packaging. Responding to UK Chancellor Philip Hammond’s Budget announcement to introduce a tax on the manufacture and import of plastic packaging containing less than 30% recycled plastic, Miguel said a tax which increases costs for the consumer “does not provide a viable solution to the issue”.

“Unlike some reports suggest, a shift from plastic packaging does not require masses of innovation — viable alternatives are already available,” Miguel said. “Materials like glass and aluminium are indefinitely recyclable, yet are widely underused. There is a common misconception that alternative materials cannot provide the same protection as plastic, but that is untrue. Smoothwall foil trays, for instance, can be gas flushed or vacuum packed, extending the shelf-life of products far more effectively than plastic.

“Public efforts, such as the surge in effort to reduce the use of straws in pubs and restaurants, are valiant. However, the real change of Britain’s environmental impact will occur when the food manufacturers — those that stock our supermarket shelves with plastic-wrapped products — take action and make use of existing alternatives.”

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