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Publications (10 of 35) Show all publications
Wikström, F., Karli, V., Rafael, A., Olsson, A., Williams, H., Wever, R., . . . Risto, S. (2019). Packaging Strategies That Save Food: A Research Agenda for 2030. Journal of Industrial Ecology, 23(3), 532-540
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Packaging Strategies That Save Food: A Research Agenda for 2030
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2019 (English)In: Journal of Industrial Ecology, ISSN 1088-1980, E-ISSN 1530-9290, Vol. 23, no 3, p. 532-540Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Summary Thoroughly considering and optimizing packaging systems can avoid food loss and waste. We suggest a number of issues that must be explored and review the associated challenges. Five main issues were recognized through the extensive experience of the authors and engagement of multiple stakeholders. The issues promoted are classified as follows: (1) identify and obtain specific data of packaging functions that influence food waste; (2) understand the total environmental burden of product/package by considering the trade‐off between product protection and preservation and environmental footprint; (3) develop understanding of how these functions should be treated in environmental footprint evaluations; (4) improve packaging design processes to also consider reducing food waste; and (5) analyze stakeholder incentives to reduce food loss and waste. Packaging measures that save food will be important to fulfill the United Nations Sustainable Development goal to halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and to reduce food losses along production and supply chains.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Wiley-Blackwell, 2019
Keywords
food loss, food waste, industrial ecology, package, packaging strategies, sustainability
National Category
Environmental Management Environmental Sciences Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Research subject
Environmental and Energy Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-68020 (URN)10.1111/jiec.12769 (DOI)000469030300002 ()
Available from: 2018-06-25 Created: 2018-06-25 Last updated: 2019-06-13Bibliographically approved
Molina-Besch, K., Wikström, F. & Williams, H. (2019). The environmental impact of packaging in food supply chainsdoes life cycle assessment of food provide the full picture?. The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, 24(1), 37-50
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The environmental impact of packaging in food supply chainsdoes life cycle assessment of food provide the full picture?
2019 (English)In: The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, ISSN 0948-3349, E-ISSN 1614-7502, Vol. 24, no 1, p. 37-50Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

PurposeDue to the urgency and the magnitude of the environmental problems caused by food supply chains, it is important that the recommendations for packaging improvements given in life cycle assessment (LCA) studies of food rest on a balanced consideration of all relevant environmental impacts of packaging. The purpose of this article is to analyse the extent to which food LCAs include the indirect environmental impact of packaging in parallel to its direct impact. While the direct environmental impact of food packaging is the impact caused by packaging materials' production and end-of-life, its indirect environmental impact is caused by its influence on the food product's life cycle, e.g. by its influence on food waste and on logistical efficiency.MethodsThe article presents a review of 32 food LCAs published in peer-reviewed scientific journals over the last decade. The steps of the food product's life cycle that contribute to the direct and indirect environmental impacts of packaging provide the overall structure of the analytical framework used for the review. Three aspects in the selected food LCAs were analysed: (1) the defined scope of the LCAs, (2) the sensitivity and/or scenario analyses and (3) the conclusions and recommendations.Results and discussionWhile in packaging LCA literature, there is a trend towards a more systematic consideration of the indirect environmental impact of packaging, it is unclear how food LCAs handle this aspect. The results of the review show that the choices regarding scope and sensitivities/scenarios made in food LCAs and their conclusions about packaging focus on the direct environmental impact of packaging. While it is clear that not all food LCAs need to analyse packaging in detail, this article identifies opportunities to increase the validity of packaging-related conclusions in food LCAs and provides specific recommendations for packaging-related food LCA methodology.ConclusionsOverall, we conclude that the indirect environmental impact of packaging is insufficiently considered in current food LCA practice. Based on these results, this article calls for a more systematic consideration of the indirect environmental impact of packaging in future food LCAs. In addition, it identifies a need for more packaging research that can provide the empirical data that many food LCA practitioners currently lack. In particular, LCA practitioners would benefit if there were more knowledge and data available about the influence of certain packaging characteristics (e.g. shape, weight and type of material) on consumer behaviour.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Berlin/Heidelberg, 2019
National Category
Food Engineering Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Environmental and Energy Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-71238 (URN)10.1007/s11367-018-1500-6 (DOI)000457748700005 ()
Available from: 2019-02-21 Created: 2019-02-21 Last updated: 2019-02-22Bibliographically approved
Wikström, F., Williams, H., Trischler, J. & Rowe, Z. (2019). The importance of packaging functions for food waste of different products in households. Sustainability, 11(9), 1-16, Article ID 2641.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The importance of packaging functions for food waste of different products in households
2019 (English)In: Sustainability, ISSN 2071-1050, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 11, no 9, p. 1-16, article id 2641Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The United Nations sustainability goal SDG 12.3 is to reduce the amount of food that is wasted by half, due to environmental and social reasons. This paper aims to analyse the most important packaging functions that affect food waste in households for different products, as the reason for wastage can be expected to differ between different products. The reasons for food wastage of different categories and products have been compiled through literature studies, and possible improvements of packaging functions to reduce food waste have been identified. In addition, an expert workshop judged the most important packaging functions to reduce food waste for a number of products. They also discussed the obstacles and possibilities to realise the packaging improvements. This study confirms that how packaging functions influence food waste on the product level is a highly unexplored question. Most likely, there is high potential to reduce food waste through better adaptions of packaging functions to user needs and habits. Both the literature study and the expert workshop show that less food per pack and better information regarding food safety and storage have high potential to reduce food waste, but also that product specific considerations are necessary.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
MDPI, 2019
Keywords
Food waste, Household food waste, Packaging development, Packaging functions
National Category
Environmental Management Materials Engineering Food Science
Research subject
Environmental Science; Environmental and Energy Systems; Chemical Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-73340 (URN)10.3390/su11092641 (DOI)2-s2.0-85067018040 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2019-07-02 Created: 2019-07-02 Last updated: 2019-09-05Bibliographically approved
Williams, H., Wikstrom, F., Wetter-Edman, K. & Kristensson, P. (2018). Decisions on Recycling or Waste: How Packaging Functions Affect the Fate of Used Packaging in Selected Swedish Households. Sustainability, 10(12), Article ID 4794.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Decisions on Recycling or Waste: How Packaging Functions Affect the Fate of Used Packaging in Selected Swedish Households
2018 (English)In: Sustainability, ISSN 2071-1050, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 10, no 12, article id 4794Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The intention of this paper is to learn more about why consumers choose whether or not to recycle, with special attention given to the functions of the packaging itself, in order to provide suggestions for improvements in packaging design, recycling systems and the environmental assessment of different packaging designs. The study focussed on ten households in Sweden that where motivated to participate in the study in order to gain an understanding of the complex matter of this decision-making process. The intention of implementing an interview-based qualitative study was to gain rich data and to reach beyond the respondents' immediate verbal responses. The respondents were interviewed with open-ended questions, which were supported with pictures of packaging; additionally, their waste bins were examined. This explorative study suggests a set of obstacles that cause consumers to dispose of packaging relating to the functions of packaging. The different obstacles that determine whether or not packaging is recycled were organised according to three different themes: the attitude towards cleanliness, the effort required to clean and sort and uncertainties about the best environmental alternative. The different functions of packaging do in fact influence all of the identified themes and; therefore, influence the decisions consumers make with regards to the recycling of specific packaging. The identified packaging functions were easy toseparate different materials, easy to separate different parts, easy to clean,easy to empty, easy to reseal, easy to compress and communication regarding recycling. Consumer behaviour with regards to specific packaging functions and recycling should be further investigated. It should also be considered for inclusion in design processes, to increase the chance of materials being recycled, and in food-packaging life-cycle assessments, to provide results that align more closely with reality.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
MDPI, 2018
Keywords
packaging waste; packaging functions; environmental impact; content properties; behaviour; attitudes
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies
Research subject
Environmental and Energy Systems; Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-71076 (URN)10.3390/su10124794 (DOI)000455338100460 ()
Available from: 2019-02-14 Created: 2019-02-14 Last updated: 2019-04-26Bibliographically approved
Mattsson, L., Williams, H. & Berghel, J. (2018). Waste of fresh fruit and vegetables at retailers in Sweden: Measuring and calculation of mass, economic cost and climate impact. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 130, 118-126
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Waste of fresh fruit and vegetables at retailers in Sweden: Measuring and calculation of mass, economic cost and climate impact
2018 (English)In: Resources, Conservation and Recycling, ISSN 0921-3449, E-ISSN 1879-0658, Vol. 130, p. 118-126Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Food waste is a significant problem for environmental, economic and food security reasons. The retailer, food service and consumers have been recognised as the parts of the food supply chain where the possibility of reducing food waste is greatest in industrialised countries. In this study, primary data on fresh fruit and vegetables (FFV) waste collected through direct measurements in three large retail stores in Sweden were analysed from the perspectives of wasted mass, economic cost and climate impact. A method of measuring and calculating the economic cost of FFV waste was developed and includes the cost of wasted produce, the cost of personnel time for waste management and the cost of waste collection and disposal. The results show that seven FFV categories, which have been termed "hotspot categories", contributed to the majority of the waste, both in terms of wasted mass, economic cost and climate impact. The "hotspot categories" are apple, banana, grape, lettuce, pear, sweet pepper, and tomato. The cost benefit analysis conducted showed that it is economically wise to invest in more working time for employees in waste management to accomplish a reduction of wasted mass and climate impact without an economic loss for the store. These results are relevant for supporting the implementation of policies and initiatives aimed at food waste reduction at retail level.

National Category
Environmental Engineering
Research subject
Environmental and Energy Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-66185 (URN)10.1016/j.resconrec.2017.10.037 (DOI)000423005400016 ()
Available from: 2018-02-09 Created: 2018-02-09 Last updated: 2018-04-05Bibliographically approved
Williams, H., Wikström, F., Lindström, A., Wickholm, K. & Lorentzon, A. (2017). Investigation of consumer attitudes, practices and food waste for three food items, to use as input in new packaging designs that aim to reduce food waste. In: 28th IAPRI World Symposium on Packaging: . Paper presented at 28th IAPRI World Symposium on Packaging (pp. 1-7).
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Investigation of consumer attitudes, practices and food waste for three food items, to use as input in new packaging designs that aim to reduce food waste
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2017 (English)In: 28th IAPRI World Symposium on Packaging, 2017, p. 1-7Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

A wide range of measures is required to tackle the global food waste problem. Innovative packaging, which helps to reduce food waste, is one important measure. The data for food waste is often presented in a summarised way. However, different food products are wasted for different reasons. In a Swedish project, actors along the entire value chain collaborated to develop new packaging solutions to reduce food waste of three products: salsa in glass jars, mixed lettuce in plastic packaging and rice pudding in plastic packaging. Waste levels and reasons for waste were examined in waste audits of the businesses, in ethnographic studies and in interviews with consumers at retail stores.

This study showed that consumers wasted the products to a much higher extent than the waste which occurred during filling, transport and retail. Waste levels among consumers varied from 0-75%, which is notably high, given that consumers tend to underestimate or not admit to wasting food. The mixed lettuce and rice pudding are both intended to be packaged in appropriate serving sizes; however, only 27% of the mixed lettuce and 50% of the rice pudding was consumed in one sitting. Respondents mentioned some material features and several handling functions of packaging, but very few commented on the protection that the packaging provides. Few, if any, expressed any recognition of packaging attributes, which helped to avoid food waste.

The respondents mentioned that wasting food was a waste of money and that it can have a negative effect on conscience; despite that, respondents also said that they wanted a variety of meals and to not have the same food several days during the same week.

Keywords
packaging, packaging attributes, food waste, sustainable development, behaviour
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Research subject
Environmental and Energy Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-65121 (URN)
Conference
28th IAPRI World Symposium on Packaging
Funder
Vinnova
Available from: 2017-11-06 Created: 2017-11-06 Last updated: 2019-06-11Bibliographically approved
Wikström, F. & Williams, H. (2017). Packaging and Food Waste Behavior. In: Reference Module in Food Sciences: (pp. 1-4). Elsevier
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Packaging and Food Waste Behavior
2017 (English)In: Reference Module in Food Sciences, Elsevier, 2017, p. 1-4Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Packaging saves food by protecting the content from physical and chemical degradation during the distribution and storage processes. However, packaging can do much more than that. This article explores how the design of a package may help, or indeed hinder, the consumer to avoid wasting food. A number of packaging attributes influence consumer behavior. The influence is different depending on the product‘s characteristics and the needs of the consumer. For many products, it might be better to add packaging material, for example, by creating smaller sizes of the product to reduce food waste and the overall environmental impact.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2017
Keywords
Packaging, Food waste, Packaging attributes, Sustainable packaging, Behavior, Life cycle assessment, Environmental impact, Recycling, Consumer, Primary packaging
National Category
Materials Engineering Environmental Biotechnology Environmental Engineering
Research subject
Environmental and Energy Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-67456 (URN)10.1016/B978-0-08-100596-5.21412-1 (DOI)978-0-08-100596-5 (ISBN)
Available from: 2018-06-04 Created: 2018-06-04 Last updated: 2018-06-07Bibliographically approved
Williams, H., Lindh, H. & Olsson, A. (2016). Consumer Perceptions of Food Packaging: Contributing to or Counteracting Envir onmentally Sustainable Development?. Packaging technology & science, 29(1), 3-23
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Consumer Perceptions of Food Packaging: Contributing to or Counteracting Envir onmentally Sustainable Development?
2016 (English)In: Packaging technology & science, ISSN 0894-3214, E-ISSN 1099-1522, Vol. 29, no 1, p. 3-23Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Packaging has a fundamental role in ensuring safe delivery of goods throughout supply chains to the end consumer in good condition. It also has great potential to contribute to sustainable development. This paper explores and provides insights on Swedish consumer perceptions and knowledge of environmental aspects of food packaging and elaborates on how these can contribute to or counteract environmentally sustainable development. A study based on a consumer survey carried out in Sweden is presented. A review of recent packaging research emphasizes the protective function of packaging as its most important contribution to the environmental dimension of sustainable development. Contrary to this, consumers almost exclusively refer to the packaging material when it comes to their perceptions of the environmental impact of packaging. Paper-based packaging is strongly understood by the surveyed consumers to be environmentally advantageous, whereas plastic and metal are not. This study further indicates that a majority of the Swedish consumers surveyed are aware of their shortcomings in judging the environmental status of food packaging, indicating a need for guidance; otherwise, consumer choices can unintendedly counteract environmentally sustainable intentions

Keywords
survey, sustainable packaging development, organic, food packaging, consumer preferences
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Research subject
Environmental and Energy Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-39111 (URN)10.1002/pts.2184 (DOI)000366525000001 ()
Available from: 2016-01-21 Created: 2016-01-21 Last updated: 2017-11-30Bibliographically approved
Lindh, H., Williams, H., Olsson, A. & Wikstrom, F. (2016). Elucidating the Indirect Contributions of Packaging to Sustainable Development: A Terminology of Packaging Functions and Features. Packaging technology & science, 29(4-5), 225-246
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Elucidating the Indirect Contributions of Packaging to Sustainable Development: A Terminology of Packaging Functions and Features
2016 (English)In: Packaging technology & science, ISSN 0894-3214, E-ISSN 1099-1522, Vol. 29, no 4-5, p. 225-246Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Packaging has great potential to contribute to sustainable development through its functions. Previous research has indicated a need for increased knowledge among consumers, suppliers, authorities and media of how packaging functions and features influence sustainable development. Previous research also shows the need for a common terminology of packaging functions and features in order to facilitate and improve communication and understanding in development and decision processes. This conceptual paper sets out to identify, collect, analyse and systemize packaging functions and features and evaluate them based on their indirect contributions to sustainable development. The systemized functions and features are expressed in generic terminology. Three clusters of packaging functions were identified from the literature: protect, facilitate handling and communicate. Nineteen packaging features were also identified. They were grouped under the three functions and elaborated based on their indirect contributions to the environmental, social and economic dimensions of sustainable development. Fourteen potential positive indirect effects were identified including decreased product waste, reduced risk for human health hazards, increased handling and transport efficiency. Decreased product waste was generated by 13 of the features and was thus the most frequently appearing. Reducing waste is thereby indicated to be a manifold matter, but also one of great potential. The proposed terminology can contribute to an increased understanding of how packaging can actually contribute to sustainable development. In a theoretical context, this paper attempts to complement earlier work in sustainable packaging development by its emphasis on the indirect contributions of packaging to sustainable development.

Keywords
sustainable packaging development, packaging functions, packaging features, indirect effects of packaging, literature review
National Category
Environmental Engineering
Research subject
Environmental and Energy Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-42615 (URN)10.1002/pts.2197 (DOI)000375104800002 ()
Available from: 2016-06-03 Created: 2016-06-03 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
Ståhl, M., Berghel, J. & Williams, H. (2016). Energy efficiency, greenhouse gas emissions and durability when using additives in the wood fuel pellet chain. Fuel processing technology, 152, 350-355
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Energy efficiency, greenhouse gas emissions and durability when using additives in the wood fuel pellet chain
2016 (English)In: Fuel processing technology, ISSN 0378-3820, E-ISSN 1873-7188, Vol. 152, p. 350-355Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The use of renewable resources for bioenergy should be performed to support sustainable development. Since the use of bioenergy has increased significantly worldwide in recent years and biomass is made of limited resources it must be used efficiently and with a low environmental impact The wood fuel pellet industry has the possibility to meet these criteria; however, it also has the potential for improvements. This work investigates how the additives, cornstarch and molasses, affect: the electricity consumption of the pellet press, the emission of Carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2 eq.) from the production of wood fuel pellets in three different countries with different emissions from electricity, the durability of the pellets and its effects on energy efficiency. The results show that pellet production is more energy efficient when additives are used, and that the amount of CO2 eq. increases with an increased use of additives. In countries with a low usage of fossil fuels for electricity production, the global warming impact gets higher due to the additives; while in countries that use a lot of fossil fuels to produce electricity, the global warming impact will be reduced because of the additives by up to 1%. The increased global warming impact from the additives can be balanced by the decrease in the reduced amount of rejected material within the production. That is because the durability of the pellets increases with an increasing amount of additive.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2016
Keywords
Pellet production, Additive, Energy use, Carbon dioxide equivalents, Durability
National Category
Environmental Engineering
Research subject
Environmental and Energy Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-46421 (URN)10.1016/j.fuproc.2016.06.031 (DOI)000381950200039 ()
Available from: 2016-10-07 Created: 2016-10-07 Last updated: 2019-09-20Bibliographically approved
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