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Food Packaging

Volume 570: debated on Thursday 21 November 2013

10. What assessment his Department has made of the role of packaging in minimising food waste. (901177)

Food packaging plays a vital role in ensuring that consumers do not throw away the food they buy. The Waste and Resources Action Programme’s “Fresher for Longer” work shows how the way we use food packaging and the storage advice it carries can help to keep food fresher for longer, by using techniques such as vacuum packing, shrink wrapping or re-sealable packaging to maximise the safe-storage life of food. This saves consumers money and reduces the impact of food waste on the environment.

The Minister has already acknowledged the Love Food Hate Waste campaign. I am sure he will agree, as my predecessor as chairman of the all-party group on packaging, that innovations in packaging such as vacuum and re-sealable packs, which he described, help to keep food fresher for longer. Does he agree that they also play an important role in reducing the value of the food thrown away by the average family, which is currently £270 a year?

I thank my hon. Friend for his kind words about my work with the all-party group, but if there are things that I think the industry needs to be challenged on, as Minister, I will be happy to do that. However, I completely agree with him that we can see significant gains in tackling food waste through innovative packaging solutions.