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Choice of environment-friendly food packagings through argumentation systems and preferences
- Yun, Bruno, Bisquert, Pierre, Buche, Patrice, Croitoru, Madalina, Guillard, Valérie, Thomopoulos, Rallou
- Ecological informatics 2018 v.48 pp. 24-36
- case studies, computer software, environmental impact, experts, food packaging, food waste, industry, packaging materials, prototypes, raw foods, stakeholders, strawberries, waste management
- Food packaging plays a crucial part in the post-harvest environmental impact of fresh foods. Packaging is usually wrongly considered as additional economical and environmental costs. However, by minimizing food waste and losses, it could significantly contribute to decrease the overall environmental impact of the food itself. A good balance between environmental burden (resource consumption and additional waste management issues) and real benefit in usage condition (reduction of food losses) should be thus defined when dimensioning a packaging for a given application. Beyond food waste and environmental impact reduction, various kinds of considerations about packaging, sometimes conflicting, are generally expressed by the stakeholders (food and packaging industries, health authorities, consumers, waste management authority, etc.) related to safety, practicality, perceptions of the packaging material, etc. Therefore, to help the parties deciphering all these arguments, we designed an argumentation-based tool to take into account the conflicting preferences expressed. The requirements concerning packagings are modeled by several arguments provided by the stakeholders expressing their viewpoints and expertise. Based on a new attack relation, the argumentation tool computes sets of compatible arguments which are used to rank alternative packagings under debate. In this paper, we present a complete workflow implemented as a software prototype starting by defining a structured representation of experts arguments and poll results, and ending by a ranking of packaging solutions. We show and discuss the results obtained by the software on a use case study (fresh strawberries) to determine the justifiable choices between several packaging materials based on stakeholders' arguments.