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Challenges and possible solutions to mitigate the problems of single-use plastics used for packaging food items: a review

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Single-use plastic (SUP) being a versatile material, is adopted as an alternate to traditional materials specifically for the use in food packaging due to its inherent characteristics like high durability, inertness, and protecting ability but has become a curse for living being today due to its random usage and unplanned rejection to nature. Mostly plastics used in packaging of beverages, fresh meats, fruits and vegetables are under concern today. Single-use packages result in generation of several billion tons of garbage till date, which pollutes the environment. At the immediate past, it has come to light that micro plastics obtained due to slow degradation of SUP present in oceans, are also being consumed by marine organisms such as fishes and shellfish species which disturbs the marine life extensively. Hence, finding right strategy to mitigate the plastic waste related issues has becoming inevitable today. This review paper briefs various strategies undertaken worldwide to mitigate the pollution due to generation of plastic waste. Various notable impact of adopted strategies and recent innovations to replace the SUP products are also discussed and in view of this a roadmap is also suggested which can be used to achieve the milestone of Zero Plastic Waste.

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The authors acknowledge Indian Institute of Packaging for the support in the work related to this review article.

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The manuscript was written through equal contributions of all authors. All authors have given approval to the final version of the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Tanweer Alam.

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Dey, A., Dhumal, C.V., Sengupta, P. et al. Challenges and possible solutions to mitigate the problems of single-use plastics used for packaging food items: a review. J Food Sci Technol 58, 3251–3269 (2021).

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