External point of view: doing things differently to help the climate

Jim Densham is the Chair of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland’s Policy and Advocacy group and presents his personal view of how Cuantec’s new technology could contribute to new food waste targets and meeting Scotland’s climate change targets.


Not long after moving to Scotland in 2010 I went to a meeting at the Royal Society of Edinburgh to hear about the results of an inquiry into what’s needed in Scotland to tackle climate change. I was particularly struck with the recommendations that we must break the barriers which prevent climate action and ensure that people, civil society, market and state work more closely together on the common goal. In essence we need to actively do things differently for the good of the climate and a more sustainable, fairer world.

Cuantec’s development of a new food wrap is a good example of doing things differently so that an everyday activity like storing food can be better for the planet. Cuantec’s innovative technology not only utilises waste from the shellfish industry as a raw material, it also has additional antimicrobial properties meaning food will stay fresher for longer. Extending the life of food is important because as it decomposes food gives off methane a greenhouse gas 48 times more damaging to the climate than CO2. The Scottish Government has a new target to cut a third of our food waste by 2025, so this new technology could provide us all with a way to contribute to that target in our everyday lives.

Cuantec’s food wrap promises to help us meet Scotland’s climate targets too. The Scottish Government recently published its draft Climate Change Plan. The Plan aims to get Scotland to its target of a 66% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2032, based on 1990 baseline levels. Last year Scotland met the 2020 target of a 42% reduction 6 years early so you might think that, seeing as we are doing so well, meeting a 66% reduction would be relatively simple. Think again. It’s a lot easier to reduce emissions in the early years than later.

From here on in we need to do things differently. Some changes will be radical, like using electric cars or planting millions more trees in the countryside, but others will be small tweaks. Cuantec’s new food wrap technology represents the sort of small change which should be easy to adopt but have big benefits in reducing waste and emissions. Government, businesses, charities and others need to work together to support and promote new technologies, and break down the barriers to their roll out so that the climate and our environment benefits as soon as possible.


Jim Densham