Coming directly after to carbon dioxide, methane gas is one of the main causes for man-made climate change. Agriculture, and especially animal farming, has the largest share of unnatural methane emissions. Reducing the waste of meat can have a direct effect on the output of climate-damaging greenhouse gases. Environmentally compatible packaging significantly helps to minimize the number of livestock and with it the emission of methane.
Next to the change of our eating habits towards no or less meat, the right packaging of meat is the key in minimizing methane emissions from animals. With growing middle classes in highly populated countries, the global demand for animal-based products is rising – and with it the livestock around the world. Huge areas, e.g. rainforests, are transformed from greenhouse-gas absorbing lungs into plantations for soya and other animal feed, mainly for export. Instead of absorbing greenhouse-gasses, the newly cultivated farmland contributes to the problem.
Meanwhile, there still are 800 million people around the globe which are undernourished. In sharp contrast to that, 20 percent of all meat produced in the world is simply wasted, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
The right packaging is making meat-products more durable and considerably helps to reduce the waste of meat. The more meat is packed to very specific customer requirements, the less meat is wasted. This automatically lowers the demand for meat which in turn lowers the number methane emitting livestock – as well as the demand for new agricultural land for growing animal feed like soya.
SML is developing extrusion technology for eco-friendly packaging materials which helps to save natural resources. Not only with regard to agriculture, but also in view of energy consumption and the general use of raw materials.