April 5, 2021
The Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC) is excited to launch its new food waste project, Food Waste Repackaged. This multi-phase project aims to raise awareness about packaging’s role in food waste and spur packaging innovations that will help prevent food waste. Together with our partners, Closed Loop Partners, GreenBiz, Packaging Europe, ReFED, RILA, Ubuntoo, and our sponsors The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation, Dow, and WestRock, we’re pleased to organize a Learning Series, Innovation Challenge, and Mentorship Program to help tackle this problem.
Preventing food waste is a top solution to climate change, and packaging can play a key role in addressing this waste in consumers’ homes, food service, and retail environments. In fact, according to the ReFED Insights Engine, making changes to packaging design is the 7th most effective way to reduce the climate emissions from food waste. These changes could help prevent 650,000 tons of food waste a year.
Today, packaging and food waste are often thought of as binary choices for brands and retailers – either food is packaged to extend shelf life and prevent food waste, or it is sold loose, which is thought to lead to food waste. Most manufacturers rely on assumptions about how their packaging might be preventing food waste. Although the job of food packaging is to protect its contents from damage, few companies have set public goals acknowledging the relationship between food waste and packaging.
The Food Waste Repackaged initiative will include three phases to help companies improve packaging design and find solutions that will help reduce food waste.
Through our Learning Series, we’ll explore how packaging can prevent food waste, but also how it can cause food waste, or even fail to prevent food waste. Leading researchers, non-profits, and industry experts from around the world will share food waste research, consumer trends and behaviors, and dive into the specific packaging designs and innovations that can prevent or cause food waste.
- Understanding Food Waste + Packaging’s Role in Food Waste
- Innovations in Waste Prevention
- Ripe for Redesign: Better Packaging to Reduce Food Waste
- Saving Food through Collaboration
The Learning Series is open to the public and taking place this May and June. The complete program details can be found here.
Building on past SPC Entrepreneur Challenges, this year’s Innovation Challenge is geared towards early and growth-stage entrepreneurs and startups with food packaging solutions that help prevent food waste.
The goal of the Innovation Challenge is to accelerate the development of packaging that reduces food waste through design and optimization features such as resealability, visibility, improved portion and pack sizes, as well as, through technology-based innovations such as sensors, active packaging, inserts, and/or coatings. Innovators will be judged on their solution’s food waste prevention metrics, life cycle impacts, and market feasibility.
Submissions will be accepted from May 1st to June 18th via the Ubuntoo Submission Platform here.
During July and August, finalists from the Innovation Challenge will be paired with brands, manufacturers, and industry leaders with expertise in packaging, food systems, circular economy, and finance. Workshops will provide innovators with additional tools to refine their solutions before their final pitch in September. Finalists will have the opportunity to share their solutions with over 800+ attendees at SPC’s members-only fall event, SPC Advance.
The SPC is pleased to partner with leading brands, manufacturers, and organizations in the food waste and circular economy space in the effort to shed light on packaging’s role in food waste and spur new innovations for food packaging. To get involved with the project or for more information, contact Olga Kachook at firstname.lastname@example.org.