Many people walk into a supermarket and look at shrink wrapped food and assume that using plastic to cover something nature had already protected for thousands of years is a potential harmful and wasteful use of plastic.
But contrary to people’s perceptions, using food wrapping machines to vacuum seal food is actually a positive aspect for the environment. In the book ‘Why Shrink-Wrap a Cucumber: A Complete Guide to Environmental Packaging’ by Laurel Miller and Stephen Aldridge, they discuss the environmental impact of the consumer goods market – and yes, they do use the mighty cucumber as one of their examples!
They explain that an unwrapped cucumber will lose 3.5% of its weight after just three days of sitting out loose on shelfs or in containers. Shrink-wrapping a cucumber slows down the evaporation process, keeping the cucumber fresher for longer. In fact a wrapped cucumber loses just 1.5% of its weight over a two week period.
Whilst we all buy food with the intention of eating it, in the U.K., a staggering third of all food is simply thrown away. Shrink-wrapping prevents food waste, and it means less fertilizer, water, pesticides and labour is being used to grow more cucumbers to replace wasted ones. It also means that less non-renewable energy sources are used transporting the extra harvests and less waste means less methane in the landfills where the wasted food eventually ends up.
At Kempner we have experience within the food sector and you can read two case studies below: