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The use of disposable packaging is essential to the performance of global food systems, but it has led to global environmental problems. There is a recognised need for collaborative governance, because authoritative governance alone cannot push forward the systemic sustainability transformations required to resolve these challenges. In this qualitative case study, we apply interpretive policy analysis to study actors' motivations and experiences of deliberation. The aim is to understand how institutional ambiguities, caused by the intertwining of waste and food policies, shape collaboration around two different types of collaborative governance initiatives that address food packaging in Finland – the Plastics Roadmap and the Material Efficiency Commitment for the food industry. The results show that the deliberation is shaped by different sustainability narratives which have contradictory roles for food packaging. The contradiction arises from food and plastic policies which fail to properly address food packaging and its functions. By pointing to the importance of uncertainties in the governance of food packaging, our results emphasise the need to increase the understanding of institutional ambiguities related to policy topics that fall between the big policy debates. These ambiguities are nevertheless important and need to be addressed while attempting to achieve broader sustainability goals.
- collaborative governance
- sustainability transformations
- food packaging
- Interpretive policy analysis
- Sustainability transformation
- Collaborative governance
- Food packaging
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