Theme 2: Packaging Systems
Plastic packaging plays a vital role in maintaining the quality of fresh meat by prolonging its shelf life and ensuring its protection, maintaining its high quality and sensorial attributes. The removal of this packaging would increase meat spoilage compromising food safety and dramatically contributing to food wastage. However, plastic packaging has a profound negative impact on our environment. As such, upcoming EU regulations are targeted at ensuring all plastic packaging is recyclable or compostable by 2030. Hence, the design of sustainable packaging alternatives for circularity is of utmost importance. Both meat primal and retail packaging structures, face their own environmental challenges related to the carbon footprint associated with their production and efficiency in terms of food safety, circular economy and their end-of-life options. This project aims to assess existing packaging offerings, redesign and optimise identified flexible packaging structures to reduce carbon footprint, enhance packaging recyclability and identify biodegradable packaging constructs suitable for meat packaging applications which will allow the expansion of their supply chain and the transition to a circular economy.