How packaging helps waste less food
Modern packaging allows your food to stay fresher for longer - not just on shelves in the supermarket but in your home as well.
Packaging helps keep food fresher for longer
Much of the food we throw away just doesn't get used in time. Small changes we can make, such as using left-over food to make new dishes, can help which means more can be eaten rather than ending up in the bin, saving us time and money!
Here are some top tips to help keep your food fresh:
- Just out of habit, many of us take fruit and veg out its pack as soon as we get it home. Keeping it in its original packaging can keep it fresher for longer. For example, shrink wrapped cucumber will last around five times longer than non-shrink wrapped ones.
- It's best not to put bread into the fridge as it goes stale much quicker. Bread keeps better in a cool dark place such as the bread bin or a store cupboard. Bread also freezes well for use another time.
- Look out for re-closable packs to keep your opened food in peak condition for longer. If your pack doesn't have a re-closable feature, use a bag clip or put the opened pack in an air tight container.
There's lots more useful advice to help keep your food fresh from Love Food Hate Waste.
Packaging labels can help you waste less food
Food labels are undergoing a lot of change due to new legislation. The aim is to make them less confusing and more helpful for customers. It's worth taking a closer look at the label, even for products you might buy regularly as the label may have changed recently.
Many retailers and manufacturers are also making voluntary changes to labelling, to help customers to waste less food:
- Retailers are removing 'display until' dates so that the important 'best before' or 'use by' are easier to see, and there is only one date to look at.
- More products now have a 'best before' date rather than a 'use by' date (for example most hard cheese and many pasteurised fruit juices), giving the flexibility to use the product after the date.
- Most food packs have detailed storage advice, and many are highlighting on the front of pack where to store food to keep it at its best (for example most fresh produce in the fridge).
- Retailers are now moving away from 'freeze on day of purchase' guidance to 'freeze before the use by date', which means if food isn't eaten when expected it can be frozen before the date to use at a later date.
- Don't forget to look out for any recycling information included on the label, which will tell you how to dispose of your packaging and if it can be recycled.