Plastic bags that can stop bread and cheese from going moldy after just a few days have been developed by scientists. The technology, which uses chemicals that prevent bacteria and fungi from growing, allows food to last for longer.
It could mean an end to throwing away supermarket bread after just a couple of days in the bread bin and cheese that remains mold-free for weeks.
Pharmaceutical company Janssen have spent two years developing the technology with plastics manufacturer Symphony Environmental.
They are now in discussions with several food manufacturers and supermarkets to use the bags on their products.
The technology could also be used to make credit cards and the new plastic bank notes more hygienic, according to Symphony Environmental.
Tests have shown that the plastic can increase the shelf-life of bread and cheese without contaminating the food.
Michael Stephen, director of Symphony Environmental, said the plastic also had the potential to do the same for fruit, vegetables and even meat.
He said: "We have come up with a way of making plastic that is antimicrobial and can be used in food wrapping.
"We've done a lot of tests on food packaging and it has been shown to reduce the mold that grows on both bread and cheese."