Sensitivity to waste is quickly moving from a corporate social responsibility, to an urgent and significant commercial imperative. Households are becoming increasing aware of and sensitive to both food waste and packaging waste. This is confirmed by the MealpulseTM food consumer panel where 73% of households indicate they ‘would like to recycle the packaging on my fresh food’, and 69% indicate they ‘will buy a smaller portion if it saves me throwing food out’.
The profile of the waste issue has been impacted by recent events such as the decision by China to ban foreign waste. While a range of immediate initiatives have been put into place, such as the NSW Return and Earn container deposit scheme and the ban of single use plastic bags by major retailers, longer term solutions remain unclear.
Solutions are complex, and are also impacted by the dilemma of packaging, i.e. the benefits it provides versus waste it generates. For consumers the benefits include grab-and-go convenience, extended shelf life, and communication of product features. For operators packaging provides operational efficiencies and lower instore operating costs. As such, solutions must be balanced and considered.
FreshIncite: Growing sensitivity to waste is creating a sense of urgency, with increased risk of quick responses that meet community views but are in danger of not being the most workable supply chain solutions.