Linpac has called on food producers and packers to review their packaging choices in the wake of the volcanic ash cloud that has hit much of the continent over the past week.

Linpac said that the amount of food waste caused by the restriction of airfreight across Europe during this period could have been reduced if the "right packaging choices" had been made between field, factory and supermarket.

Adam Barnett, vice-president of innovations and marketing, said: "Although packaging couldn’t prevent all the waste, making the right packaging decision can make the difference between goods ending up on the shelves or in the bin.

"Soft fruit has been particularly vulnerable with a short shelf life, but even here packaging choices can extend shelf life by several days. Packaging like the Linpac Infia K37 punnet is designed to allow air to circulate around the fruit, helping it stay fresh for five to eight days."

Barnett added that having the ability to react fast enough to protect goods would not only save money, but would also cut waste and help the environment.

He said: “We normally advise our customers to look at getting the right balance between shelf life and cost for their product, but they need to know what options there are to be flexible enough to cope with a change in circumstances.”