Unpacking Food and Drink

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Food packaging is everywhere, but has largely escaped scrutiny beyond the domain of marketing and business development. In view of plastic pollution gaining public attention in recent years, packaging rapidly emerges into the forefront of the debate about waste and sustainability. While it is no longer hidden in plain sight, our understanding of packaging remains limited. This special collection aims to transcend the simplistic interpretation of packaging as a pragmatic retail solution and a waste problem. By interrogating the social, economic, political, cultural and aesthetic aspects of packaging, in its contemporary and historical dimensions, the collection seeks to shed light on the multifaceted roles that packaging plays in society. The case studies presented in the collection will demonstrate that the function of packaging go far beyond containment, protection, preservation, information, and convenience, as identified by the packaging-industry professionals. In addition, packaging has an ability to transforms the product, attributes it with new characteristics, hide what it shows. This not only has the obvious commercial consequences, but may also influence the existing relationships between people and what they consume and why.

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