No-one in our industry thinks we have collectively done enough to reduce food packaging. Nor do our customers.

Our recent survey found that two thirds of consumers believe there is still too much packaging. With increasing penalties on businesses and countries for burying waste, there are financial as well as environmental imperatives to improve our efforts.

But it is not just packaging waste that gets buried. Together the food and drink industry and consumers throw away some 12 million tonnes of food. And because most of the 10.4 million tonnes of packaging is now recycled, it is food waste that is more damaging to the environment.

Wrap estimates that 2% of our country's carbon emissions can be traced back to the cost of growing, producing, transporting and storing the food we then throw away at home. Cutting this out would have the equivalent impact on UK CO2 emissions as taking one in five cars off the road. It would also save the average family more than £600 a year - important when every pound is being watched.

This is why, as an industry, we can't sit back and let the debate on packaging take place in isolation to the pressing issue of how we reduce food waste. Sensible packaging helps protect food from damage and last longer. It's no good for our industry, for consumers or the planet if reducing packaging leads to more food being thrown away.

This would be the case, for example, if we stopped wrapping cucumbers in plastic, as some well-meaning campaigners have demanded. Our own research shows this wrapping helps cucumbers last five times as long, reducing greatly the numbers thrown out in store and at home.

On the other hand, we have discovered that wrapping individual peppers made no difference to their quality or how long they last. So we have stopped doing it. What these examples underline is the importance of looking at packaging around fresh food, product by product.

We also have to continue looking at how we reduce our food waste through how we operate. If we are to make a real impact on the food waste mountain, we have to help our consumers do the same.

Nearly a third of all food bought is thrown away at home - more than six million tonnes a year. Most of this waste could be avoided through better information on how to store the food and better planning. That's why we have launched Great Taste Less Waste, a campaign in stores to help customers eat more of the food they buy.

It includes Best Kept stickers on how to store fresh food. The media interest in the advice to keep apples in the fridge confirms our survey, which showed two-thirds of consumers don't realise this keeps them fresh for up to two weeks longer.

We also have do more, too, as an industry, to end confusion between best-by and use-by dates. We obviously have not yet done enough when half of all consumers still unnecessarily throw food away when it reaches best-by date.

None of this means we should let up on the drive to reduce unnecessary packaging. But we have to ensure that this goal does not accidentally add to the mountains of food waste. This requires us all to engage in the debate.

Marc Bolland is chief executive of Morrisons.