Plastic packaging reduces food waste

Nachrichten,24 September, 2020

Each year in Europe alone, 245 million tonnes of food is thrown away. One of the reasons is that the packaging are not good enough. We at Scanfill want to change that. 

Every year in the EU, 622 million tonnes of food is produced, of which 245 million tonnes is thrown away. This means 40 percent of all food is wasted, and 900 billion SEK goes down the drain. The 157 million tonnes of CO2 that is released when that food is produced has an enormous impact on our climate; it equals to a medium-sized family car driven approx. 20,000,000 times around the world.

The entire European plastics industry produces 65 million tonnes of plastic annually, which releases around 130 million tonnes of CO2. This is less than the CO2 emissions caused by EU food waste each year. Even if we were to remove all the plastic produced in every industry within all the EU Member States, we would still not compensate for the CO2 emissions that food waste represents each year. 

That’s why we need good packaging. Packaging that protects the product, keeps it fresh for a long time and contributes to reducing food waste. 

cucmber scanfill small

For example, 1.5 grams of plastic keeps a cucumber fresh for 14 days, that’s eleven days longer than if it hadn’t been wrapped in plastic. 

Minced meat packed in packaging with Scanfill’s material lasts five to six times longer than those packaged in a regular tray without a modified atmosphere. 

– Properly designed packaging is crucial to minimize the amount of food waste on the way from farm to fork, says Oscar Hugoson, Executive Vice President at Scanfill AB. 

There is no need to throw away the materials we have 

Scanfill has removed half the amount of plastic in the packaging material and replaced it with reinforcing minerals – in addition, Scanfill’s material is fully recyclable and reduces carbon dioxide emissions. 

– In general, plastic packaging can be recycled up to seven times before it is better to convert them into energy. We have enormous opportunities to take care of our environment and climate, by using better packaging materials and recycle them several times, explains Oscar Hugoson.

Scanfill, the family business from Ystad, specializes in sustainable and fully recyclable packaging materials. Thanks to Scanfill’s unique materials, greenhouse gas emissions are halved and during the process, the company takes advantage of all excess materials and recycles them several times.


 – There is no need to throw away the materials we have, which is why we are working according to our unique model of spiral economy. We want the material used in one industry to be reused in another, explains Oscar Hugoson.

 – It is not necessary for plastic packaging to be recycled into new packaging instead it should be about what raw material is needed where. Packaging can become a car part that becomes part of a designer chair. The material already exists, it’s about thinking broadly and taking advantage of what we have. What is waste for one industry can be a valuable raw material for another.

More information

Spiral economy  →

Video about Spiral economy  →

Used plastic gets a new life  →

Sustainability  →

About Scanfill →