Stora Enso, a renewable materials company, has conducted new research that highlights the significance of packaging in advancing the sustainability of food systems. The study, titled “Food Packaging for Better Food Systems,” outlines 13 areas of potential impact within the food packaging value chain. By fostering innovation and collaboration, these opportunities can contribute to enhanced global climate protection, biodiversity conservation, and social advancement.
Fiber-based packaging plays a crucial role in facilitating sustainable food systems due to its renewable source material, recyclability, and effective preservation of hygienic food. Stora Enso’s report envisions a transformative role for packaging in addressing the concealed socioeconomic expenses associated with our current food systems. This involves enhancing food system sustainability through various means such as promoting healthy diets, reducing food waste, and exploring the development of compostable or waste-derived materials.
Tiina Pursula, SVP Sustainability at Stora Enso commented, “Our food systems play a crucial role in securing a circular, biodiversity- and climate-positive future. We need to look at these systems holistically and consider how can we contribute to food system transformation, such as healthier, plant-based foods and food waste reduction. This way, we can drastically change the way we produce, transport, and consume food.”
The report identifies 13 impact opportunities and emphasizes the essential enabling factors necessary for their successful implementation. These factors include innovation, technology, finance, and policy interventions like improved waste sorting, increased recycling capabilities, and the establishment of a market for secondary raw materials to enhance material circularity. These conditions underscore the importance of adopting a multi-stakeholder approach to effectively realize the solutions put forth in the research.
Commenting on the opportunity for the sector, Phillip Hanefeld, SVP Innovation and R&D at Sora Enso said, “Across the packaging value chain and beyond, we already have the innovation expertise to act on these opportunities and accelerate the food system’s transition. We’re hopeful that the information in this white paper will spark and deepen the much-needed collaboration among stakeholders to optimize the use of our collective resources and make our proposals a reality.”
Building upon a series of partnerships with prominent players in the food and beverage packaging sector, the report presented by Stora Enso underscores the company’s commitment to promoting the utilization of renewable, fiber-based materials in packaging solutions. Recently, Stora Enso shared the research findings through a webinar, further emphasizing their advocacy for an extensive transformation of existing food systems.