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M&S to Cut Food Waste with New Packaging Technology
January 9, 2012
Marks & Spencer is rolling out an innovative packaging technology expected to extend the refrigerated life of fresh fruit and reduce the amount of domestic food waste, according to The Guardian.
The UK retailer is including a small strip in the bottom of strawberry containers made of a mixture of clay and other minerals capable of absorbing ethylene, the gas released by fruits that accelerates ripening and eventual rot.
M&S says early trials reduced food waste a minimum of 4 percent – the equivalent of roughly 40,000 packs of strawberries during the grocer’s peak season. If the extended pilot proves successful, M&S says it plans to introduce the packaging for strawberries in all of its 1,000 stores around the world.
M&S says the strip will not add to the consumer price for berries and does not affect the recyclability of the packaging. However, The Guardian article quotes M&S competitor Asda, which says it tested similar packaging and found the benefits were not worth the additional packaging cost.
Bart King is a PR consultant and principal at Cleantech Communications.