Today, 1.3 billion tons of food is discarded globally every year

The world is currently facing a serious problem related to population.

According to some data, the global population is forecast to reach over 8 billion in 2025, with contributing factors including population growth in developing countries. Against this backdrop, the world is urgently seeking ways to resolve the food waste problem.

The global population is growing, and with it, the demand for food is increasing. At the same time, 1 in 9 people, or about 815 million worldwide, are said to be undernourished. Despite this, edible foods are being discarded as leftovers or thrown away because they are past their best before date.

The amount of food discarded annually is approximately 1.3 billion tons. This is equivalent to about a third of total food production.
What can a company with a long history in printing technologies do to help solve this global problem? Let us show you part of the role Toppan plays.

Packaging technology helping to solve the food waste problem

At first glance, you may not really see any association between the food problem and Toppan, a printing company. But packaging technologies developed by Toppan over the years have created a strong link between us and the issue of food waste.

Think of supermarkets, convenience stores, or the kitchen in your home. There are bags of snacks, instant foods, foods in cans or jars, and packaged fresh meat and fish. A variety of packages protect the quality and safety of our food.

One of the causes of food waste is the disposal of edible foods that have reached the expiration date on their package. How has Toppan’s packaging expertise helped to solve this problem?


Understanding the effects of moisture and air on food

Retaining food freshness longer and extending the expiration date of packaged food should help to resolve one of the factors contributing to food waste. What are the basic causes of food spoilage?

Toppan focused on moisture and oxygen. Packaged food becomes moldy when moisture gets inside, but goes dry when it escapes. Likewise, food can rot, or its color or flavor can change, due to oxygen getting inside the packet, while oxygen escaping can cause aroma to be lost.

This means that, if neither moisture nor oxygen is allowed in or out of the package, then food can last longer, causing less to be wasted.

GL BARRIER is a technology to enable consumption without waste and a step towards changing the world

Toppan believes GL BARRIER can help with the food waste problem. With barrier performance that rivals that of aluminum foil, this vapor deposition-based transparent barrier film offers food protection from oxidization, drying, and moisture.

Adapting its printing technologies, Toppan researches and develops surface treatment technologies derived from the package manufacturing process. This is how GL BARRIER came to be in the 1980s.

However, superior performance alone does not help to solve the food waste problem. If the packaging technology cannot be used widely and easily, it has no value.

That is why Toppan has used GL BARRIER as the foundation for developing a wide range of packages to meet a variety of needs. In fact, you are now able to safely heat up ready-to-eat food in its package using a microwave oven thanks to the use of GL BARRIER technology in packaging.

Today, GL BARRIER boasts the leading share of the global market for vapor deposition-based transparent barrier film. It has been adopted for 15,000 products, and through being used to package and protect a wide range of items, it plays a role in reducing waste by helping to ensure that food is eaten and not thrown away.

Toppan’s packaging technology for the future

GL BARRIER is a transparent barrier film that maintains quality and flavor for longer periods when used to package and protect food. It is a solution that Toppan, a leader in the field of printing technologies, provides to contribute to solving the food waste problem.

However, reducing food waste is not the only strength of GL BARRIER. Much lighter than conventional packaging, it also contributes to lower energy consumption during shipping. And we have not stopped there. We are also working on making it possible to use recyclable materials and creating sustainable systems to eliminate waste after use.

In addition to food, GL BARRIER can be used for a wide array of applications, ranging from the medical and pharmaceutical sector to the field of industrial materials.

There is no limit to the ways packaging technology can contribute to a better future.
Toppan and GL BARRIER will continue to take on the challenges ahead.

A future where everyone can enjoy a longer, healthier life