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Corrugated Packaging Helps Reduce Fast Food Waste

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According to a report earlier this week in Packaging Today magazine, London, U.K., to meet the demands of today's modern lifestyles more innovative dishes are being created by the U.K.'s £30 billion fast food industry, which is why takeaway food packaging has also been developed to help tackle the waste often associated with meals on the go.

It's a myth that reducing the packaging will automatically cut the amount of waste from fast food - in fact effective corrugated solutions can help the environment by reducing the amount of consumer food going to landfill, said the U.K.-based Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI).

The recyclability of paper packaging is well known. McDonald's Restaurants reported that during 2013 its eateries worldwide recycled 77% of its cardboard waste. But the material also delivers advantages elsewhere in the fast food supply chain.

"Corrugated packaging has superb environmental credentials, and this is being recognized by the fast food industry. Its thermal properties are renowned for keeping food warmer, while bespoke, recyclable corrugated board trays are becoming a firm favorite for fish and chips," said CPI Director of Packaging Affairs Andy Barnetson. "Not only does corrugated protect products and prevent spills and leaks, its boxes are designed for heat retention for food on the go: the insulated fluting material keeping it fresher for longer therefore encouraging the consumer to eat all the contents." 

Companies in the corrugated Industry have introduced a range of packaging solutions for hot food, specifically designed for takeaways, combining innovative design with fine fluting to make the product easier to handle and consume.

Corrugated packaging has long been favored by pizza lovers because of its insulation qualities, but here there have also been some great recent developments, including an innovative pizza delivery container that easily divides into four cardboard plates so that people can enjoy their meals without the need for washing up.

The Foodservice Packaging Association (FPA), which promotes the interests of packaging suppliers and users in the U.K. takeaway sector, believes the fast food industry is making huge strides to combat waste, especially with the range of packaging options and containers now available.

"There have been some phenomenal advances in takeaway packaging. Developments are taking place all the time. I think that some of the best and some of the more creative developments in the packaging field have taken place in food service," said FPA Executive Director Martin Kersh. 

"Corrugated has excellent heat retention qualities and like all packaging materials has contributed to the common denominator of keeping food in the best condition for longer so people are encouraged to eat it all and not waste it."