Those of us with teenage boys might be familiar with the expression “inhaling your food.” This is the term we use when you put a huge plate of food down in front of said boy and before you’ve even got settled in front of your own meal, his plate is empty. The only explanation you can think of for how he could have eaten so much food so quickly is if he inhaled it!
Well, if certain scientists and researchers are to be believed, inhaling the nutrients we need to survive may well be in our future – or at least the future of our children. And if we don’t inhale our food, we might wear a patch that trickle feeds vitamins and minerals into our bodies as we need them. Or we might even take a leaf out of Willy Wonka’s book and ingest all the goodness of a three course meal simply by chewing on a piece of gum.
The options, although frightening, might not be quite as science-fiction-like as they sound. And, while they will definitely take all the joy out of food preparation and eating, they will certainly cut down on the problem of food waste, and will eliminate altogether the need for clumsy food packaging that cannot be recycled or biodegraded.
As stakeholders in the food packaging industry, it is beholden on us that, if we are to preserve the future of food as we know it, we need to lead the fight against both food waste and irresponsible packaging.
MAP Goes Green In Order To Preserve The Future Of Food
Manufacturers of Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) have an increasing number of materials to choose from when it comes to making their packaging films. By far the most popular of these is polyvinyl chloride (PVC). This is a basic, sustainable polymer made from about 57 percent chlorine (which is derived from industrial grade salt), and 43 percent carbon (derived mainly from oil or gas via ethylene).
In Europe alone, over half a million tons of this flexible, light and cost-effective packaging material are used every year. It is one of the most sustainable MAP materials available, requiring far less fuel to manufacture and transport than other packaging materials.
Thanks to its unique polymer structure and organic compounds, PVC is 100 percent recyclable physically, energetically or chemically. The two main ways in which this happens are:
- Mechanical recycling – PVC waste is ground into tiny pieces that are then processed into new PVC compounds ready to be melted and made into new products.
- Feedstock recycling – this is the breaking down of PVC right back to it’s molecular structure and then reusing it to make new PVC.
At Mapflex South Africa, we believe that Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) needs to be affordable in order to also be sustainable. Our innovative, eco-friendly products are making a big impact on the convenience food market, and to find out how they could make a big impact on your overall profitability, contact us today.