No mangoes, no cappuccinos without packaging

August 20, 2008

huhtamaki_ceo2_web.JPGIf you think that packaging produces loads of unnecessary waste, think again, says head of ice-cream and fast-food packaging maker Huhtamaki.

Chief Executive Jukka Moisio told a Reuters Paper Industry Summit in Helsinki that packaging a product actually reduces the amount of waste used rather than creating it.

“If you think about the food chain all the way from where you grow the food to the ultimate consumer, if you don’t have a packaging, the waste rate all the way from the field to you or me will be huge. If you look at the end situation of any cup of coffee, you see that the carbon footprint used by the packaging of any cup of coffee is insignificant compared to what the cow does,” Moisio said, explaining that adding milk is more damaging to environment than the rest of the product.

In most cases, packaging is actually beneficial to the environment, he said.
“If you do it the other way round, you take the packaging away, you take the carbon footprint of the packaging away, but you create a significant waste along the way before the product meets you.”

For the green-minded among us Moisio had the least polluting solution:
“Our alternative in that case is that, if we don’t want to use packaging, then we need to dismantle the big cities and go back to the fields. And we don’t have waste if we pick up the potatoes and eat them in the village we live in.”

But there is a risk the products might never reach you at all.

“If you grow mangoes in India, if you don’t have any protection or packaging for mangoes, you won’t get them out of India. And you will not even get them from the fields in India to the people in Mumbai. That would be the biggest waste.”

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