Bio-based materials for food packaging: replacing plastics and addressing consumers’ expectations

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Timezone: GMT-12:00

Event type: international

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Description: The full development of a sustainable European bio-based industry would represent a suitable pathway for achieving several Sustainable Development Goals. The introduction of Bio-based products and solutions depict a great opportunity to reconcile sustainable long-term growth with environmental protection through the prudent use of renewable resources for industrial purposes. Given this, the introduction of bio-based products in the packaging sector is a prominent topic. According to Eurostat , every European makes large use of packaging: indeed, only in 2017, more than 172 kg of packaging waste was generated per inhabitant in the EU-27, a number that is increasing year after year. In addition to the improvement of the re-using and re-cycling systems, the sector should become more sustainable increasing the adoption by brands and companies of bio-based packaging. In the meanwhile, several R&I activities has been implemented in the last years in order to create bio-based materials able to replace the fossil-based plastics in packaging, in particular in food sector (e.g. new biodegradable materials, increasing their performance, extending product’s life and reducing costs). However, the market uptake of these innovations can be slowed down by the purchase behaviour of consumers: in spite of the general and increasing positive attitude towards green products, consumers could be discouraged in choosing food products with bio-based packaging due to the general higher prices or due to some issues, real or perceived (e.g. possible concerns about functionalities and performances compared to the fossil-based packaging, health and safety concerns, lack of standards and labelling ). Starting from the main results of R&I projects in bio-based food packaging and from the consumers’ expectations and concerns, the workshop will ease the dialogue among quadruple helix stakeholders in order to co-create recommendations and possible solutions to be taken to boost the adoption of bio-based packaging and create a favourable environment for consumers’ habits change. In particular, the discussion will be developed according three pillars of a product life-cycle: the ecodesign, the consumers’ acceptance and its end of life. Event details and relevant documents produced during the workshop will be published and available on the Biovoices Platform. Agenda and more information will be available soon.

Application sectors:

Food packaging, disposable tablewear


Topics of discussion:

Market/business development

Consumers’ awareness and information, trust building


Challenges:

A3 – Up-scaling

B2 – Changes in purchase habits

B3 – Increase the Adoption

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