Life solved EP18

Prof Paul Trott discusses how smarter packaging could actually be one key to reducing food waste

17 min listen

External Audio


Less packaging isn't always better for the environment. Professor Paul Trott explains how innovative food packaging can help tackle problems of food waste in society. But what problems are making it worse and who holds the power to make change?

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Having the correct number of holes in the film, depending on the fruit...can double the shelf life for raspberries or blueberries.

Professor Paul Trott, Professor of Innovation Management

Episode transcript:

Narrator: You're listening to Life Solved from the University of Portsmouth. In this series, we hear about world-changing research from the brilliant minds at work here in Portsmouth. And behind the scenes of some of our biggest sectors, Portsmouth researchers are challenging the way we do things.

Paul Trott: And given that food manufacturing is usually the biggest manufacturing sector in any country, certainly is in the UK it's the biggest manufacturing sector, because, as you say, every week people are buying a lot of food.

Narrator: Today we're talking about innovation and development in the food industry with Paul Trott.

Paul Trott: The evidence is pretty dramatic. It's pretty, pretty convincing that packaging is a powerful producer of food.

John Worsey: Yeah.

Paul Trott: So people need to be a bit careful when they're always arguing for less packaging.

John Worsey: Yeah.

Narrator: Many of us are keenly aware how much waste a household can generate in a week, whether it's in uneaten food, packaging or unwanted items. Recent years have seen a change in the way we think and the options we have available to reuse and recycle. But John Worsey found out how smarter packaging could actually be one key to reducing food waste.

Narrator: Paul Trott is Professor of Innovation Management and Head of Strategy, Enterprise and Innovation. That means he's looking for new ways of changing the bigger picture, and his team works directly with businesses to change the way they do things for the better of our world. Today he tells us about how they're working to transform the food industry.

Paul Trott: There are many projects, this is the only one of them just to put it in context. So that is looking at the extent to which firms can reduce their food waste by increasing the use of packaging.

Narrator: Yes, you heard that right. It might seem counterintuitive to our general understanding, but the evidence shows that smarter packaging can actually help reduce other issues of

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