Food packaging will face several big challenges in the next few years. On the one hand, they are crucial for maintaining the quality of the packed product and in this way, they can contribute to reducing food waste. On the other hand, companies are confronted increasingly with questions from different parties about the type of packaging and its impact on the environment (e.g. migration from recycled materials). The latter cannot be neglected given the strong growing attention for circular economy in food packaging with very ambitious European goals:

  • All plastic packaging on the EU market should be reusable or recyclable before 2030;
  • Strive towards a recycling percentage of 55% of the packaging waste before 2025;
  • Try to use alternative raw materials for the production of plastics when it is clear that they are more sustainable in comparison with those gained from non-renewable resources.


This all causes that a company will be confronted increasingly with the question which type of material is most suitable and sustainable for the packaging of a specific food.

Objective of the research

The aim of this project is to create an online tool that will enable companies to make a thoughtful decision regarding raw material selection (virgin, biobased, recycled) for the production of food packaging. In this decision making process the required functions of the packaging will be taken into account, as well as the End-Of-Life options and how this all will eventually influence the sustainability of the packaged product. Therefore different packaging alternatives are compared and evaluated for a range of selected food groups through Life Cycle Analysis studies.

More information can be found HERE


Pack4Food, Flanders’ FOOD, SensNet and several research institutions

Type of funding and duration

VLAIO COOCK-project, 2019-2021


Coordinator: Laurens Delva
Researcher: Ellen De Tandt