Sustainable packaging and plastics were identified as a key issue for commercial food buyers in Ireland, according to new research conducted by Bord Bia.
When asked which sustainability issues would become more important to their business in the next three years, packaging was the most cited topic by the procurement personnel surveyed.
Meanwhile, packaging remains front of mind for consumers too, with approximately three in ten consumers surveyed reporting that sustainable packaging influences choice when doing grocery shopping.
These global research findings were similarly reflected in the results of Bord Bia’s recent Readiness Radar 2021 report where packaging ranked as the number one sustainability priority for the 111 Irish food and drink businesses surveyed.
Speaking today Deirdre Ryan, director of Origin Green at Bord Bia, said, “Achieving circular economy and resource efficient food chains through packaging optimisation makes perfect business sense; it translates into less impact on the environment, reduced operational costs and it avoids contamination of food, which all together improve competitiveness and enhance the benefits for consumers.
"However, we recognise that fully implementing a packaging optimisation project which increases the sustainability of a product, rather than simply reducing the cost, is often a complex task," she added.
Later today, Bord Bia is launching updated Packaging Guidance for its Origin Green members to support the industry’s ambition to reduce the amounts and types of raw materials used in packaging.
Bord Bia Virtual Event
According to Bord Bia, interest among the sector is high, with over 130 attendees registered to attend a virtual launch webinar this morning.
Speakers will include representatives from Repak who will provide an update on recent packaging legislation and challenges and Mabbett, the international environmental auditing body, who will provide an overview on Origin Green’s packaging targets and the new packaging guidance document.
To date, Origin Green members have committed to 258 packaging sourcing targets focusing on improving the sustainability of their own packaging. This includes introducing packaging material that is recyclable, reducing the amount of packaging that the product uses or sourcing certified sustainable packaging material.