Everyone knows it: The nice tale according to which no packaging is the best packaging is only partly true. Where packaging helps to prevent the destruction of food, it has its clear ecological justification. After all, depending on how you count, food production is responsible for 28–34% of total greenhouse gas emissions. Every uneaten cucumbers, and even more so every kilogram of meat thrown away, is in total a quite massive and also completely unnecessary climate burden. Packaging can counteract this.
But packaging also protects customers and their health. There are many reasons why only around 5,000 people die each year in Europe as a result of food poisoning, compared with around 420,000 worldwide, 175,000 of whom live in Southeast Asia alone. In addition to better refrigerating chains and higher production standards, packaging also plays a role – if only because it provides a mechanical barrier against potentially harmful germs and bacteria. So packaged can also mean safer food.
At the same time, however, many packaging component were suspected of being harmful to health in recent decades. For example, due to adhesives that can migrate from the packaging into the food, or plasticizers. Various coatings may also be problematic.