Aarhus University Seal

Sustainable food packaging: An updated definition following a holistic approach

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Krisztina Rita Dörnyei , Corvinus University of Budapest, Hungary
  • Ilke Uysal Ünalan
  • Victoria Krauter, University of Applied Sciences for Management and Communication (FH Wien der WKW), Department for Applied Life Sciences, University of Applied Sciences, FH Campus Wien
  • ,
  • Ramona Weinrich
  • ,
  • Loredana Incarnato, University of Salerno, Italy
  • Igor Karlovits, Institute for Pulp and Paper, Slovenia
  • Giancarlo Colelli, University of Foggia
  • ,
  • Polymeros Chrysochou
  • Margaret Camilleri Fenech , Institute for Climate Change and Sustainable Development, University of Malta, Malta
  • Marit Kvalvåg Pettersen , Nofima AS, Norwegian Institute of Food, Fisheries and Aquaculture Research, Tromsø, Norway
  • Elena Arranz
  • ,
  • Begonya Marcos , Food Quality and Technology, IRTA, Monells, Spain
  • Valeria Frigerio, Department of Food Environmental and Nutritional Sciences, Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy
  • Annalisa Apicella, Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Salerno, Fisciano, Italy
  • Selçuk Yildirim, Institute of Food and Beverage Innovation, Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Winterthur, Switzerland
  • Fátima Poças, CBQF - Centro de Biotecnologia e Química Fina - Laboratório Associado, Escola Superior de Biotecnologia, Universidade Católica Portuguesa/Porto, Portugal
  • Matthijs Dekker, Wageningen University & Research
  • ,
  • Johanna Lahti
  • ,
  • Véronique Coma, LCPO-UMR5629, University of Bordeaux, CNRS, INP/ENSCPB, Pessac, France
  • Milena Corredig
Food packaging solutions need to be redesigned to be more sustainable, but determining which solution is ‘more optimal’ is a very difficult task when considering the entire food product value chain. Previous papers paved the way toward a sustainable food packaging definition, but it is far from being commonly accepted or well usable in the broad food systems domain, which further results in uninformed choices for sustainable food packaging made by all stakeholders in the value chain: producers, distributors, practitioners and consumers. Therefore, this work aims first at giving a state-of-the-art overview of sustainable food packaging terms (38 similar terms were identified and grouped into four clusters: Sustainable, Circular, Bio and Other sustainable packaging) and definitions using systematic (narrative) review analysis and ‘controlled expert opinion feedback’ methodology. Second, it aims to offer an updated definition for sustainable food packaging, which is also specific to food packaging and be simple, coherent, easily understandable, and communicable to everybody. The applied holistic approach intends to include all aspects of the food-packaging unit, to consider food safety and packaging functionality, while taking into account different disciplines and challenges related to food packaging along the supply chain. Being a balancing act, a sustainable food packaging may not be a perfect solution, but contextual, suboptimal and in need of constant validation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1119052
JournalFrontiers in Sustainable Food Systems
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2023

    Research areas

  • challenges, circular, definition, eco-friendly packaging, food, holistic, packaging, sustainable

See relations at Aarhus University Citationformats

ID: 321156836