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Hartikainen H.,Mtt Agrifood Research Finland | Koivupuro H.-K.,Mtt Agrifood Research Finland | Katajajuuri J.-M.,Mtt Agrifood Research Finland | Korhonen V.,PTR Association of Packaging Technology and Research
18th IAPRI World Packaging Conference

In comparison to the environmental impacts of entire food product-packaging system the impacts of food packaging are usually fairly low. Packaging that fails to fulfill its key functions, to protect food and facilitate its distribution, results in greater food waste accompanying adverse environmental impacts. Therefore, food packaging can play an essential role in minimizing environmental impacts of the product-packaging system when losses of edible food are taken into account. In the study of Hartikainen et al. [1] the relationship between household food wastage and packaging, particularly packaging size, was investigated by analyzing data from Finnish food waste surveys. Several findings of the study emphasized the importance of packaging size in preventing food waste at the household level and reducing environmental impacts of product-packaging systems. The study with 380 Finnish households revealed that a household's belief in the ability to reduce its food waste per capita by buying food in smaller packaging resulted in significantly more food waste than for the households that did not share such a belief. Respondents living in households of different sizes appeared to have diverse perceptions of the role of packaging sizes in preventing food waste in their households. Thus, the study indicated that households with fewer occupants had a stronger belief in their abilities to reduce food waste if food was sold and bought in smaller packaging. Source

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