Somerfield and packaging technology sp?ecialist Long Life Solutions are testing wrapping which could extend the shelf life of fresh produce, aided by a £170,000 grant from the Waste & Resources Action Programme.
The plastic film wrapper lets the product breathe, extending its shelf life. Long Life Solutions director David Wilkinson claimed that another UK supermarket had reduced waste by 30% and saved £1.3m annually with similar technology. Somerfield has recently begun testing the wrap on four fruit and vegetable products. The trial will continue until September.
Wilkinson said consumers were increasingly wary of the gases, injections and sprays currently used to preserve fresh produce. "Our idea is to let the product do the work itself," he said, adding that the technology could be utilised in packaging formats for other perishables.
In another effort to cut waste, Tetra Pak is creating a £300,000 fund to help local authorities establish carton recycling schemes in the UK. The fund will finance the establishment of collection points and promotion of public awareness campaigns.