Canned food could help reduce global food waste

THE Metal Packaging Manufacturers Association (MPMA) has highlighted how canned foods can reduce food waste as well as assisting in accelerating the journey to a carbon neutral future.

Director and chief executive of the association, Robert Fell, made a presentation at The National Food Waste Conference in London in which he highlighted that one third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted each year.

In view of continued high population growth and the projected loss of up to 250 million crop acres by 2050, the issue of food wastage has never been more important, MPMA said.

Robert explained an ‘effective solution’ to help tackle the problem is a greater uptake of canned food. He said that the canning process locks in nutrients and vitamins of fresh ingredients at the height of their ripeness for use in months or years later.

He added that canned food offers consumers the convenience of products that are healthier, more affordable, and have a longer shelf-life than other food formats. Moreover, they don’t require refrigeration in transport, in storage, at the retailer or at home.

Secondly, metal packaging is infinitely recyclable, Robert continued before explaining how it is easy to extract from the waste stream, and all the metal collected is reused to make new metal products.

The main thrust of the presentation was that, in view of the above factors, canned foods could play an increasingly critical role in reducing food waste and helping to alleviate the pressure on the natural world.

Robert commented, “There’s a huge opportunity for canned food to make a significant environmental difference in terms of reducing food waste and lowering the losses of the carbon associated with food production as well as decreasing the emissions connected with food spoiling.

“Add in the ability for people to eat more healthily even within tight budget constraints, and it’s clear that everyone – consumers, local authorities, waste management companies, governments, businesses and the environment – will all benefit from increased usage of canned food.

“Many thanks to the event organisers for providing a great forum to discuss with other key stakeholders in the waste management space. Collectively, we have a responsibility and opportunity to drive real positive change here. I’m confident that together we can and will radically reduce food waste in every UK household.”