We see a number of really big points where simple measures could lead to significant improvements towards sustainability. First, looking at the fresh food logistics, we should damn one-way packaging completely. Whether it is, plastic or paper, no waste is good for the environment. Paper is not as bad as plastic but its production uses lots of water and energy.
The issue in the structure we have is that a lot of centralized packaging and processing plants have been established. They have to deliver their goods over long distances to the consumers. A stronger centralization and the development towards larger and larger units has been gone throughout the last decades. This has to be reversed towards more regional units. Working with regional units reduces transport routes and makes it easier and more efficient to use multi-usage packaging by reduction of transportation costs for those. If not the processing, then at least the packaging has to be decentralized. Goods could be delivered in bulk to regional packing units and packed there into multi-usage packaging.
- We make demand to the supermarket chains to create a plan with their suppliers how and in which timeframe this can be realized. Focus should be on fresh foods first. All fruits, vegetables and meat should go this route asap. In parallel multi-use glasses and boxes have to be developed for any other food.
- In order to make this efficient, we need a nation-wide or even international round table of all supermarket chains and food processors to create a system with standardized packaging that can flow into a pool which can be used by all manufacturers and suppliers. This would also allow independent service providers, to set up regional packing units and to serve different suppliers at the same time.
- We also make demand to the supermarket chains to prefer regional products over any product that requires long transport. Those regional products should be clearly marked as regional products.
- We make demand to all consumers to buy regional products and to look for products ideally without any but at least without excessive packaging around it. Buying meat at the meat counter is much better than taking the prepacked stuff, as long as there are no multi use packages in use. At the counter you can even ask them not to use the plastic bag. The paper with a seal is fully sufficient.
- In this context we make demand to supermarket chains to offer all kind of meat including chicken at their meat counters.
- We also make demand to all consumers to consume less animal products. This way we protect rain forests, reduce the emission of nitrate into our fields and improve our health.