Re-packaging the packaging debate
How can we take an ethical approach to protecting, storing & transporting food?
Our March Business Forum explored the future of packaging and discussed why the packaging issue should be part of a wider systems debate.
Following the ‘Blue Planet moment’, packaging and plastics have catapulted to the forefront of public debate. On the bright side, it opens up opportunities for alternative solutions, as it is no longer ‘weird’ to bring your own coffee cup or refillable packaging to your local coffee shop. However, the narrative has been overpowered by the issue of plastics, which could lead us to other options that are unsustainable in different ways. It is also giving rise to lots of claims about zero waste, some of which are questionable. Crucially, what Blue Planet shows is that we, as a sector, and more broadly as society, cannot carry on as we are. The series made society face how people are treating the planet and the need for change. This clearly resonated with the public, as it is a simple concept to grasp in the face of what can often be complex or distant issues. It is a fantastic chance to engage the public and gain their much-needed support for markets to shift towards more sustainable systems.
The Business Forum heard from Guy Singh-Watson, farmer and founder of Riverford, and Catherine Conway, Founder & Director of Unpackaged Innovation Ltd. The meeting was chaired by Cathryn Higgs, Head of food policy at Co-operative Food and member of the Food Ethics Council.