StePac packaging helps reduce emissions
Author: Liam O'Callaghan
StePac’s modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) has been shown to reduce food waste and the subsequent greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in new research commissioned by the fresh produce packaging company. Researchers at Wageningen Food & Biobased Research facility, Netherlands, were commissioned to quantify the GHG emissions associated with the use of StePac’s MAP products across numerous supply chains worldwide. Gary Ward, business development manager for StePac, said the results exceed expectations and showed MAP products had shown the ability to dramatically reduce CO2 emissions. “Food waste contributes circa 8 per cent of all GHG emissions associated with climate change, the biggest threat to our planet,” said Ward. “By creating sustainable modified atmosphere packaging solutions which extend produce freshness often by 50-100 per cent, StePac has demonstrated through this research, that it helps lower GHG emissions by reducing waste in the fresh produce supply chain and often facilitating sea transport instead of air transport of produce to distant destinations. The reduction in GHG emissions far exceeds those generated in the full lifecycle of the packaging itself.” The results showed that GHG emissions related to plastics production, use and end-of-life are relatively small compared to other GHG emissions along the food supply chain. For example, in the shipping of melons from Honduras to UK, the cultivation, harvest, and post-harvest handling represented 41 per cent of the total GHG emissions of 701kg CO2/tonne of melons.