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The Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre will partner with the Australian Institute of Packaging for one of its first projects.

The Save Food Packaging Criteria and Framework 1.2.1 project aims to develop design criteria and communication material for packaging that will reduce food waste, focusing initially on Australia and New Zealand before looking overseas through the World Packaging Organisation (WPO).

“The AIP has a goal to create a global standard for all Save Food Packaging design and that the criteria and guidelines are embedded in all NPD processes,” said Nerida Kelton, executive director of the AIP.

According to Kelton, the connection between packaging design and food waste needs to be more openly discussed in the industry.

“From field to fork there are several possibilities for food loss and waste to occur. It has been approximated that up to thirty per cent of the edible food produced does not reach the fork.

“Packaging’s role in reducing food waste is the next challenge for packaging technologists, designers and engineers,” she said.

The project will be headed by the AIP, which has established a Save Food Packaging Consortium comprising leaders in food-saving packaging design, who will ensure the new guidelines are practical for the industries served.

Alongside AIP as project lead, the consortium includes RMIT as the research partner; project contributors ZipForm Packaging, Sealed Air, Multivac and APCO; project partners Plantic Technologies, Result Group and Ulma Packaging; and extension network AFCC, APCO, AFGC and AIFST.

The AIP in 2016 was the first WPO member nation to implement a Save Food Packaging Design Award, in the annual Australasian Packaging Innovation and Design Awards.

“Developed in conjunction with the World Packaging Organisation (WPO), the Save Food Packaging Design Awards are designed to recognise companies who are developing innovative and sustainable packaging that minimises food losses and food waste, extends shelf life and improves the supply of food,” said Kelton.

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