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There is a lot of media attention on the effect consumers, food
manufacturers and retailers are having on the environment now
and over the next 50 years.
Main concerns regarding food packaging are;
1) Cannot always be recycled (make it into something else)
2) Not always biodegradable i.e. rots down to become compost.
3) Uses up worlds natural resources of oil, metals & trees.
4) Production of packaging causes air, land & water pollution.
5) Transportation around world causes air pollution.
6) 90% of rubbish goes into landfill sites.…read more

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What can manufacturers do?
1) Use recyclable & biodegradable packaging when possible.
2) Ensure consumers know which packaging is recyclable ­ put
recycle logos on packaging
3) Use less packaging.
4) Stop pointless packaging i.e. shrink wrapped cucumbers.
5) Packaging could be made thinner.…read more

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What can consumers do?
1) Choose products that come in recyclable/biodegradable
2) Ensure we recycle as much as we can. Only 33% of packaging
recycled when 70% can be.
3) Buy a single, larger sized product than individual portions i.e.
4) Use your own shopping bags instead of carrier bags.
Scientists & technologists are developing biodegradable food
packages based on starch based waste products, including corn &
potato starch.…read more

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What are genetically modified foods?
Foods that scientists have altered the genes in to give it other characteristics.
Combining or adding genes from one food to another achieves this.
The characteristics achieved can;
1) Make crops resistant to disease.
2) Increase the nutritional quality of a food.
3) Increase the quantity of the food grown from the
same amount of land & seeds.
GM foods thought to be the answer to be the malnutrition &
starvation in the world. Some scientists feel genetic engineering
could lead to side effects in other food grown near GM foods. More
research is required for long term effects on health before
consumers accept GM foods are safe to eat. GM ingredients have to
be specified on food labels.…read more

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What are nanofoods?
All products are made from atoms between 1 & 100 nanometres in size. Properties of
food products depend on how atoms are arranged e.g. rearranging atoms in water,
soil & air makes potatoes.
Still very new and at the experimental stage. It could have a massive
impact on food production. Could also allow us to make cleaner,
stronger & lighter packaging materials, reduce the amount of fat, salt &
sugar in foods but keeps flavour & mouth feel.
There are some concerns about the side effects to health from
processing foods.…read more

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jill richardson

This presentation includes some of the basic environmental issues surrounding food and is a good starting point.

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