ASD – Turkish Packaging Manufacturers Association states that packed products indicate the importance given to humans in terms of hygiene and health. One of the most important functions of packaging is that it makes products visible. Packaging prevents unlicensed production, and contributes positively to the country’s economy. With the right applications, packaging prevents excess waste and deters food products from going to garbage instead of dinner tables.
As used packaging is found in abundance in municipalities’ waste grounds, the real benefit of packaging is unfortunately mostly overlooked. First of all, we shall not forget that packaging is not garbage. Packaging must be made of reusable and recyclable materials. Therefore, when packaging materials complete their lifecycle, they shall be entered into a recycling process. We are happy to see that there is an awakened consciousness in our country regarding differentiating packaging from garbage and understanding that they shall be collected separately, with the rising concerns of consumers about the environment as elsewhere in the globe.
Meanwhile, packaging technology is fast changing. Extensive studies are made into how sustainable production can be made in producing packaging with the minimum amount of raw materials, natural sources and energy use. For example, in Turkey when drinking water was first bottled in plastic, the plastic bottle for a half-liter water weighed 22 grams. 6-7 years ago this was reduced to 13 grams. Today, a half-liter plastic bottle weighs as little as 10.5 grams. Soon, it shall be less than 10 grams.
Nowadays, one of the biggest problems in the world is the difficulty hundreds of millions of people face in accessing healthy and nutritious foods. At the moment, one in each eight people go to bed hungry each night. However, if the better packaging is used, food products can be brought to more and more people every day. 50% of the production of packaging industry, which is anticipated to reach a 820 billion dollar market size in 2016, consists of food and beverages packaging. Thanks to the use of packaging, food substances can be transported and kept without getting spoiled. Therefore, packaging is crucial to prevent wastefulness. To give an example: in regions where packaging and delivery systems are not sufficient, up to %50 of foods go to waste and do not reach consumers. In developed countries where packaging consumption is high, such as in Western Europe, due to packaging only %2-3 of foods goes to waste.
In Turkey, 1.5 billion lira’s worth of bread go to waste each year. Through packaging, wasting of bread can be diminished by %50. Thanks to the “Prevention of Bread Waste Campaign”, started in 2013 by the coordination of ASD, the ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock and the Office of Earth Crops, 1 million and 50 thousand loaves of bread a day, and 384 million loaves of bread a year was saved from going to waste. It is urgent that similar measures shall be taken for vegetables, fruits, grains, meat and dairy products. The yearly economic losses for fruits and vegetables, which are so painstakingly grown, have reached 16 billion liras in sum. Unfortunately, similar problems are faced regarding grain products. However, through packaging we can make sure that food goes to dining tables instead of going to waste. A similar step has been taken this year in the chicken industry. Butchers and markets can no longer sell unpackaged chicken meat.
From now on, consumers will feel more confident about products since what gives the consumer reassurance in the packed product will be the actual brand of the product. Therefore we say “Food Safety First” and hope for and support the expansion of such safety measures to be taken in all food industries ranging from meat and meat products industry, to bread, milk and dairy products, grains, fruits, vegetables and the water industry. Packaging is hygienic, healthy and safe. Packaging is the primary measure of food safety. Thanks to packaging, consumers gain knowledge about the foods they are buying, which producer it belongs to and about the expiry dates of their food.
In this context, as ASD, we support that all food products reach consumers in packaging, and carry out our undertakings accordingly.
As ASD, our motto is “Do Not Pass over Safety and Hygiene in Food Packaging” and we created a Hygiene & GMP Guide for Packaging Manufacturers with the support of the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock.
ASD – Turkish Packaging Manufacturers Association was established in 1992 with the purposes of fostering the growth of packaging industry; giving an identity to the sector, representing the sector in national and international arenas; establishing scientific, technical, and social cooperation and solidarity among members. As of August 2015 ASD has 220 members. ASD has members that are active in every branch of the packaging sector in Turkey. ASD is a member of WPO-World Packaging Organization, APF-Asian Packaging Federation and IAPRI-International Association of Packaging Research Institutes. ASD has been performing effective tasks for the industry such as Eurasia Packaging Exhibition, Ambalaj Dünyası-Packaging World and Pack Converting Periodicals, Crescent & Stars for Packaging Competition, Student Competitions and Packaging Academy.