Cut your losses

One third of all the food produced world-wide gets lost or wasted every year. By cutting these losses, we could not only help alleviate world hunger, but also lower the massive impact food production has on our planet. Not to mention make the entire food value chain more profitable. Better packaging materials can form part of the solution.

Food loss & waste

Food loss and food waste are serious problems in a world where one in nine people struggle to get enough to eat1. The exact figure varies, but somewhere around 36 percent of all the food produced globally for human consumption, never gets eaten2. From farm to fork, about 1,3 billion tons of food, worth approximately US$1 trillion is lost every year3. That’s 160 kg food per year for every person on Earth – enough to eradicate world hunger more than twice over. 

While the sheer waste of nutrients is bad enough, the secondary effects in terms of the natural resources that go into producing them, are equally alarming. Greenhouse-gas emissions from food loss and waste make up 8 percent of the global total and the water consumption linked to food loss and waste amounts to one-fourth of the world’s freshwater supply4.

The implications for businesses are perhaps even less well-known, but according to a 2022 article by McKinsey & Company5, grocers and manufacturers could add an estimated $80 billion in revenue every year by cutting their food losses. And lower their CO2-emissions and associated costs by 4 to 9 percent in the process.

As of 2024, there are now only six years left to reach the targets of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 126. In other words: it’s high time to accelerate our efforts to reduce food loss and waste. Fortunately, there are actions we could take to cut our losses – today.


Billerud’s packaging materials can help reduce food loss and waste

By using strong, light, pure, and protective packaging made from sustainable materials, a large part of the food that gets damaged and lost, could be rescued.

Packaging is sometimes considered a problem – but here, in terms of reducing global food loss and waste – it’s a big part of the solution. A study conducted by the American Institute for Packaging and the Environment, showed a correlation between foods with the highest percentage of waste and those with the least amount of packaging7. The same study also found that packaging results in six times more GHG-emissions savings than composting, seven times more than anaerobic digestion and three times more than redistribution.

At Billerud, we develop and provide materials that are strong and less resource-intensive, offering you the opportunity to opt for a more sustainable packaging solution. One that not only safeguards the goods inside, but also contributes to reducing food loss and waste throughout the value chain.

We use renewable primary fibers to develop stronger, lighter and more durable materials that enable outstanding product performance. This way, our customers never have to choose between their ambition to protect their products, sustainability impact or optimized total cost efficiency.

Our strong materials are able to withstand load over time in difficult humidity and temperature conditions, helping to improve product protection through the entire food value chain. In combination with our scientific approach to materials selection and testing, such as our proprietary True Performance methodology that goes beyond the traditional Box Compression Test, we give our customer a unique understanding of how to optimize their packaging for demanding value chains. The result is stronger, lighter boxes that can save up to 40% in material8, reduce your packaging CO2 emissions – and perhaps most importantly – cut your food losses.

Billerud has 70 years of experience in supplying paper and board material for food applications. All our materials are manufactured in compliance with good manufacturing practice so that they do not transfer constituents to food. This means that we only use approved chemicals and control the raw material to ensure a safe product from a health and environmental perspective. We are third party certified according to FSSC 22000, which is a standard within the General Food Safety Initiative (GFSI)9.

There is no magic solution that solves all food contact issues for paper-based packaging. But we strongly believe that primary fibers should be used where their purity creates most value. Therefore, Billerud recommends the use of 100% primary fiber-based packaging materials for food contact applications.

The food and beverages industry has traditionally relied on plastic, tin, and glass for its packaging. Now, environmental concerns are changing people’s attitudes to these materials. We help you switch to more resource-efficient and sustainable packaging, selecting the ideal material for your product, as well as ensuring a sustainable packaging supply chain.

The fibers used to make our packaging material are sourced from responsibly managed forests that are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. In addition, our European production processes use renewable energy sources and are 98% fossil free. Our fully recyclable materials also enable you to go circular. When our materials are recycled, they increase the quality of pulp from recycled paper and make the recycling loop work. After six cycles the fibers can be recycled a further 25 times10 and be turned into other paper products with lower strength requirements, such as egg cartons and tissue.

Learn more

The Liquid Packaging Board with the industry’s lowest CO2 footprint

Billerud’s Liquid Packaging Board is a very popular material for food packaging due to its strength and formability. Our fibers come from sustainably managed forests and our production is the most carbon-efficient in the world, thanks to our use of renewable energy. This gives our Liquid Packaging Board the lowest CO₂ footprint in the industry and makes it a strong alternative for brands that want to improve their sustainability performance.

Why brands should be thinking about food safety and waste

This article highlights why well-designed food packaging makes good sense, both from a business and climate perspective.

Save up to 40% material with True Performance

Billerud’s new and more scientific testing methodology helps customers choose the best materials for demanding applications such as fruit & vegetable transport boxes. The ultimate goal is to reduce packaging-related food loss and waste by better understanding the true demands of the value chain.

Contact us

Contact us and we will help you find a solution to help you reduce food loss and waste.

Learn more - Contact our team

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