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Volcanic ash crisis 'shows value of packaging'

21 April 2010

LINPAC Packaging is asking food producers and packers to review their packaging choices in the light of the crisis caused by the Icelandic volcanic ash

The firm believes the amount of food waste caused by the restriction of air freight across Europe could have been reduced if the right packaging choices had been made between the field, factory and supermarket.

Warehouses of food products have been rotting due to the inability to move produce around the continent due to the grounding of planes and the limited capacity on other freight transport.

Adam Barnett, Vice President of Innovations and Marketing said: “Although packaging couldn’t prevent all the waste, making the right packaging decision can make the difference between goods ending up on the shelves or in the bin.

“Soft fruit has been particularly vulnerable with a short shelf-life, but even here packaging choices can extend shelf-life by several days. Packaging like the LINPAC INFIA K37 punnet is designed to allow air to circulate around the fruit, helping it stay fresh for between 5-8 days.

“Other alternatives include MAP and heat sealing produce in trays, eliminating the build up of the bacteria that can lead to produce degrading prematurely whilst in transit or on the shelves. MAP solutions are particularly effective in the protein sector.

“We normally advise our customers to look at getting the right balance between shelf life and cost for their product but they need to know what options there are to be flexible enough to cope with a change in circumstances.

“Being able to react fast enough to protect your goods is not only going to save you money, but also help cut waste and help the environment.

“Just as consumers demand security in the supply of food products in the shops, food producers and packers need to consider the security of supply of packaging products. LINPAC Packaging has production facilities in the UK and across Europe. This means we can deliver our products to companies right across the continent and beyond even with the closure of the airspace.”

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