Aim is to foster a more holistic and harmonised approach to packaging legislation that balances quality and safety with environmental concerns

Max Teplitski ASPF

Max Teplitski, chair of the ASPF

An international coalition of non-profit industry and non-governmental organisations has come together to form the Alliance for Sustainable Packaging for Foods (ASPF).

Its mission is to engage with regulators and governments around the world to encourage the adoption of a holistic and harmonised approach to food packaging regulation in order to achieve environmental sustainability without compromising on food safety and public health, and without increasing the environmental footprint of the food supply chain.

The alliance said is priority is to engage with the ongoing interinstitutional negotiations in the EU on the revision of new packaging and packaging waste rules, and the P2 and other packaging-related regulatory developments in Canada.

Max Teplitski, chief science officer of the International Fresh Produce Association and chair of ASPF, commented: “When discussing the future of packaging, food safety and quality, and reducing food loss and waste are non-negotiable.

“Members of the ASPF are clear: we are committed to significantly reducing packaging waste, just not at the expense of food safety. We will work hard with the regulators and policy makers around the world to do so.

“We must take into account the footprint of the entire lifecycle of packaging use while maintaining food safety and addressing phytosanitary concerns. The purpose of ASPF is to find opportunities for partnership across global stakeholders to create a holistic and harmonized approach to packaging regulation, which reflects and accounts for the key outcomes central to a sustainable food supply.”

The ASPF’s founding members include: Aneberries; Canadian Produce Marketing Association; FMI – The Food Industry Association; Fruit South Africa; Fruits from Chile; International Fresh Produce Association; National Milk Producers Federation; National Council of Farmers Coops; National Wooden Pallet and Container Association; North American Meat Institute; Organic Trade Association, Reusable Packaging Association; STOP Foodborne Illness; US Dairy Export Council; and Western Growers Association.

“Sustainable packaging solutions for food, such as reusable packaging, can also lead to superior product protection and temperature management performance, ensuring food quality and safety and reducing waste,” said Todd Hoff, executive vice president at the Reusable Packaging Association, and vice chair of the alliance.

“The Reusable Packaging Association values our participation in this wide-ranging industry alliance to support the transformation to more circular reuse systems while upholding the highest food standards. We look forward to working with other industry leaders to demonstrate that packaging can be sustainable, cost-effective, and high performing without compromising.”

The ASPF will also include working groups to drive priorities and action plans that will focus on the government relations strategies and the technical approach to advocate for packaging regulations that not only are sound in regards to compliance but are also technically pragmatic for industry implementation.

The organisation said it also encourages ongoing consideration and consultation throughout value chains, for extensive buy-in and sustainable success. Organisations interested in joining the Alliance can contact Max Teplitski to learn more.

The alliance’s position paper can be found on the ASPF website.