Environmental comparison of food-packaging systems: The significance of shelf-life extension

Harrison Tetteh, Mercè Balcells, Ilija Sazdovski, Pere Fullana-i-Palmer, María Margallo, Rubén Aldaco, Rita Puig

Producció científica: Article en revista indexadaArticleAvaluat per experts


Consumer-level food waste has considerable environmental consequences and is related to packaging and its impact on product shelf life. This study uses the life cycle assessment methodology to compare food packaging systems with similar or varying shelf life. When comparing packaging with different shelf life, estimating food waste from retail to consumer related to shelf life becomes crucial. Currently, no validated models exist for this purpose, and this paper contributes, for the first time, to a critical comparison of existing models. Key findings from a case study on chicken meat packaging reveal that extending the shelf life from 6 to 15 days in a PET tray, employing a modified atmosphere (with the highest packaging-to-food ratio), led to an average reduction in food waste from 47% to 15% of the total chicken meat produced at the slaughterhouse, consequently reducing Climate Change by approximately 78%. The range of food waste estimate was 24–66% using 5 different models. Despite this variation, a sensitivity analysis demonstrates that the comparison results remain consistent, emphasising the significance of food waste in the environmental impact. This underscores the crucial need for a validated method to assess food waste based on shelf life in food packaging ecodesign.

Idioma originalAnglès
Número d’article100197
RevistaCleaner Environmental Systems
Estat de la publicacióPublicada - de juny 2024
Publicat externament


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