History of food packaging

Early in history food was consumed where it was found.  With the development of agriculture, families and villages were self-sufficient, producing, making and catching what they used.  When packaging was needed, nature provided shells, gourds, animal skins etc.  In time, containers or packaging were made from natural materials such as reeds, grasses, logs, bark and animal parts.  Grasses and reeds were woven into baskets to store food.  As ores and metals were discovered, metals and pottery were developed, leading to other packaging forms.  An approximate chronology is as follows:

The last 1,000 years has seen many changes and advances in packaging as a result of huge social change.  The expansion of trade played a part.

In the 1970s a study of packaging systems in China found that

Similar findings came out of a study in Russia in the 1980s where it was found that lack of packaging, distribution and storage facilities resulted in annual losses of:

Notable advances in packaging in the 20th century include