Promoting sustainable packaging applications in the circular economy by exploring and advancing molded pulp materials for food products: a review

Ajit Kumar Singh, Pontree Itkor, Myungho Lee, Joongmin Shin, Youn Suk Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Packaging ensures the safe handling and distribution of fresh and processed food products via diverse supply chains, and has become an indispensable component of the food industry. However, the rapidly expanding use of plastics, especially single-use plastics, as packaging material leads to inadequate waste management, littering, and consequently serious environmental damage, which predominantly affects marine and freshwater sources. Thus, the use of plastics for packaging purposes has become a major public concern and hence a concern among global policymakers. Notably, 26% of the total volume of global plastic production is primarily used for packaging, of which single-use plastics account for 50%, resulting in pollution that may last hundreds of years. This review provides an overview of the manner in which molded pulp products can be utilized to improve sustainability of food packaging applications, by highlighting the manufacturing processes, signifying characteristics features of recyclable molded pulp, and coupling circularity with eco-friendly and safe food product packaging. In this regard, current concepts advocate the implementation of a dynamic and sustainable approach using molded pulp products. This approach encompasses the design and production of eco-friendly packaging, distribution and consumption of packaged products, and collection and recycling of used packaging for subsequent reuse.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCritical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank the Technology Development Program (S3106241) funded by the Ministry of SMEs and Startups (MSS, Korea) for this study.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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