Bio-based materials for food packaging: improving marketability and changing consumers’ habits

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 implementing in the last few years in order to create bio-based materials able to replace the fossil-based plastics in packaging, in particular in food sector: such activities aim to produce new biodegradable materials, increasing their performance and reducing costs. However, innovations market uptake 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. 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. Event details and relevant documents produced during the workshop will be published and available on the Biovoices Platform.



Programme of the MML