Evidence review: Plastic packaging and fresh produce

28th November 2018

This report reviews the available evidence of the effects of plastic packaging in helping to reduce the amount of fresh produce thrown away in the home to inform discussions on providing uncut fresh fruit and vegetables loose/plastic-free in store.

The challenge:
The total amount of fresh vegetable and salad waste in the UK is in the region of 1.6Mt.
Approximately 80% of this waste is edible food costing UK consumers in the region of £2.7bn.
Approximately 940,000t of fruit waste, the majority of which is fresh, is produced from UK households costing consumers £1.3bn.

The Evidence 

The evidence in this report will inform consideration of whether retailers should offer more fruit and vegetables loose and/or plastic-free. However, further evidence is needed.

It has been published for consideration by signatories to the Courtauld Commitment 2025 and The UK Plastics Pact

Read the evidence review here.


Next Steps 

This review begins a wider industry dialogue about how and where to introduce or expand the sale of uncut fresh fruit and vegetables loose. It aims to eliminate the use of unnecessary plastic packaging without the unintentional consequences of increasing food waste, both in the supply chain and especially in the home. This work and ongoing trials are expected to inform future guidance for retailers on providing uncut fresh fruit and vegetables loose and/or plastic-free in-store.

Related pages 

Courtauld Commitment 2025