But there is another problem to consider about packaging: its impact on our health. In fact, wrapping our food in plastic, polystyrene or aluminum is not without health consequences.
In particular, plastics are often suspected of containing harmful materials and products. Fifteen years ago, phthalates were controversial because of their harmful effects on health. They do have hormonal problems, especially male infertility. In Europe,
reach regulations prohibit the use of products containing phthalates that may contaminate food. However, some people still suspect that soft plastic water bottles are the source of pollution (this suspicion has not been confirmed by scientific research so
far). In addition to
round food packaging, phthalates can still be seen everywhere in the plastic industry.
Another controversial product: bisphenol A. It is suspected to affect reproduction, sugar and fat metabolism, leading to cardiovascular disease and hormone dependent cancer. According to European regulations, the daily dose that should not be exceeded in
order to avoid endangering your health is 0.05 mg / kg body weight per day. The problem is that BPA is present in many food containers. We've often heard of baby bottles, but traces of bisphenol have been found in most polycarbonate packaging, a hard plastic:
from refrigerator containers to water cans and sealed boxes. So far, the marking of food containers is not mandatory, and it is difficult to know which packaging is made of polycarbonate.
In order to find your own way more easily and avoid using materials containing bisphenol as much as possible, please refer to this article published by ANSES (national food, environment and occupational health and safety administration).
In general, food packaging is often suspected of causing exposure to products harmful to health or dangerous if absorbed in large quantities. This is the case with aluminum, which can lead to excessive aluminum in the body, which is itself associated with
various neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's disease. Even glass is suspected of causing lead pollution
On the other hand, food packaging is our most powerful ally, which can prevent our food from being contaminated by potentially deadly bacteria or reduce its freshness. Therefore, packaging is the best way to protect us from food poisoning and other diseases
related to food storage.
How to limit the waste of food packaging?
Finally, the problem of food packaging is often dealt with in a very dichotomous way. It is difficult to find a way out between the speeches of industry manufacturers who never stop praising profits and some informed consumers who only talk about the dangers
and problems related to packaging. Like all other environmental and health issues, not everything is black or white. Considering our food system and consumption habits, although food packaging has a negative impact on the environment and sometimes on health,
it is still essential today. Therefore, in industry, real efforts need to be made to consider more ecological packaging, better recyclability and packaging without harmful materials.
But if we need food packaging so much, it is also because our consumers have formed the bad habit of buying our food without considering how to preserve it. This is the cause of waste, the need for packaging and over packaging. Therefore, it is also the
responsibility of consumers to change their habits: buy more fresh products without packaging and better manage their inventory to avoid food waste.