Common sense from the Lords

Dick Searle8smallThe House of Lords publication on food waste reduction was published earlier this month. Jane Bickerstaffe of INCPEN, Alan Davey of Linpac and I were amongst those who gave evidence to the committee earlier this year

Although the report’s executive summary is disappointingly free of packaging-related positives the rest of this well written and grounded publication carries very many notes of cheer:

For example:

“Food packaging often performs an important waste prevention function. We urge the European Commission to ensure that, in its review of the Packaging and Waste Packaging Directive, provisions are not introduced that may have the unintended consequences of discouraging innovative packaging that might help to prevent food waste.”

And then also prefiguring the next stage of our Fresher For Longer (FFL) campaign

“We conclude that few consumers are aware that packaging can be crucial for the durability of food. Retailers have a responsibility to communicate the benefits of packaging and information about how food should be stored to avoid premature deterioration and unnecessary food waste.”

This kind of informed reflection, research and comment is exceedingly important for our sector and for society. It helps us all to go forward and to fashion the new ground rules – for industry and for the environment.

I have noted over the past twelve months that ever more acknowledgement of packaging’s positive and environmental qualities is now entering the public domain. This latest example is very welcome.

We all know that until very recently packaging has been made into a convenient whipping boy; based largely on pretexts where ‘common sense ain’t that common’. Nonsense still surfaces today, of course, and often from a Brussels direction. Thankfully, the stark realities of our world – food security alone – are enough to keep us all on track, the House of Lords included.

We salute their Lordships for this sensible and valuable contribution to issues of waste reduction. Long may such efforts continue.

Thanks again

Dick Searle