Using Packaging to Reduce Food Waste

April 23, 2015

Roughly one third of the food produced in the world goes to waste every year. That’s about 1.3 billion tons of food! But fear not, friends! Innovative packaging can be part of the solution.

Solveiga Pakstaite, a 22-year-old British industrial designer, has designed a food label that tells people when their food has expired. Her label, the Bump Mark, was originally designed to help blind people who cannot read the expiration dates on their food packaging, but Pakstaite quickly realized that the application can be much broader than that.

The Bump Mark label changes shape as it ages. When a food item is new and fresh, the label is smooth and curved. As the food ages, the label develops a bump. The larger the bump, the older the food.

Pakstaite’s goal is to alert people about when their food is getting past its prime — ultimately resulting in more food being eaten and less being tossed away.

The Bump Mark — along with other solutions like edible packaging — is just the latest sustainability-focused packaging innovation aimed at decreasing food waste.

Unfortunately, food waste isn’t just a problem in the U.K. People in the U.S. throw away about 35 million tons of perfectly good food each year. The USDA has just released an iPhone app to help people calculate when their food will expire. (According to the app, bananas last 3 days if refrigerated. But doesn’t it feel like they get brown ten seconds after you get them home?! Get your act together, bananas!)

At Ernest we work with lots of food and beverage companies to create packaging solutions that keep their food fresher for longer. We want your products to end up in people’s stomachs — not in their trash cans!

(Like the USDA, we’ve also recently released our first iPhone app — designed to help you save money on shipping costs by accurately calculating your DIM weight.)

Is your packaging feeling stale? Contact Ernest for something fresh!