The packaging challenges facing the food industry were outlined to industry leaders in Peterborough.
Paul Jenkins, managing director of consultancy ThePackHub, outlined some of the latest innovations in food packaging being trialled by leading retailers and producers.
He was addressing about 120 business representatives who attended Roythornes Solicitors’ food business breakfast at the Kingsgate Conference Centre, in Parnwell.
He said: Due to the strength of consumer feelings towards the amount of plastic in the world’s oceans, companies like PepsiCo having reacted by introducing new recycling systems.”
He said ideas considered by various companies ranged from edible straws to electronically activated bottles that open when touched against the drinker’s lips.
He warned: “Unless things change we will damage the planet beyond repair.”
Mr Jenkins said the BBC’s Blue Planet series that showed a turtle having a plastic straw removed from its nostril had changed the packaging industry and food manufacturers’ approach to plastics.
He said: “We’ve had nine months of intense focus on sustainability and I expect that to continue.”
Peter Cusick, partner and head of food and drink at Roythornes Solicitors, said: “There is now a huge move towards packaging sustainability by food businesses.
“Paul offered some invaluable insights into how these new solutions are working in practice.”