Metal Packaging: An optimal solution for reducing food waste

Food value chain: processing and packaging
Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that 1.3 billion tons of food is wasted annually. 

The source of the problem is different in different economic regions. In industrialized countries, more than 40% of food waste takes place during distribution and beyond, including time on retail shelves and in consumer homes. On the other hand, in developing countries, more than 40% of food waste takes place before distribution, including the post-harvest handling and processing phases.

To provide additional contrast, food waste at the consumer level in industrialized countries is estimated to be 222 million tons, while net food production in all of sub-Saharan Africa is 230 million tons.

Food packaging helps reduce food waste in several ways:

  • It efficiently contains and protects goods
  • It provides critical storage and usage information
  • It delivers portion control
  • Pre-cut foods convert disposal of inedible items to energy, compost or animal feed

Compared to other packaging formats, cans offer distinct advantages, such as:

  • Preserving contents, nutritional value and prolonging long shelf life
  • Eliminating the need for refrigeration, saving money and energy
  • Having an unprecedented safety record.

More than 1,500 different kinds of food can be packed in cans.

As a packaging format, metal cans offer an optimal solution to reduce food waste in both emerging and mature economies. They also help support the goal of achieving zero food waste to landfill by 2020

View the Food Waste Facts infographic