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Trends > Going green

International survey flags up packaging concerns

3 commentsBy Rod Addy , 22-Jan-2013
Last updated on 23-Jan-2013 at 14:54 GMT

Consumers have raised significant concerns about plastic food packaging in response to a survey covering the US, India and Sweden conducted by Innventia.

Given a choice of seven packaging materials including glass and aluminium, most respondents to the survey singled out plastic as the substance they regarded as the least environmentally friendly.

Almost two thirds of those in Sweden, more than six out of 10 in India and virtually half of those in the US stated this in the Packaging 2020 Global outlook report.

Consumers in India seemed especially sensitive to packaging issues, with almost seven in 10 survey participants claiming to have felt bad about throwing away plastic bottles. And more than seven out of 10 said they tried to refrain from buying products if they were wrapped in plastic packaging.

Packaging functions

Turning to the functions of packaging, consumers polled indicated the greatest demand for packaging that could flag up food spoilage as it occurred, rather than just bearing a date stamp. More than half of those in Sweden and the US indicated this was their view.

A total of 47% from India held the same viewpoint, with slightly more – exactly half – desiring packaging that kept food fresh for longer, so still showing concerns about spoilage.

Indeed, in India, a significantly greater proportion of consumers than in the US and Sweden – more than half – said they worried the fresh food they bought might be spoiled or unhygienic.

Temperature, damage, distance travelled

Respondents also showed substantial demand for packaging to show how product temperature had changed over time, whether the product had been damaged in transit, its origin and how far it had travelled.

Well over half those surveyed in the three regions said they were very or rather interested in scanning products in stores to discover details including origin, distance travelled and contents.

The top source of packaging hassles cited by 55% of those in the US and 68% of those in Sweden was difficulty in opening packs. In India, just over half reported their top hassle as pack leakage.

“We’re seeing purchasing decisions being guided by the packaging material itself, not just the appearance of the packaging,” said Fredrik Rosen, manager of Innventia’s market and consumer group. “We’re also seeing a clear demand and a great need for smarter packaging.”

3 comments (Comments are now closed)

Awareness Creation

Instead of blaming plastics almost everyday, Govt. should impose bans on garbage dispensing in public places (like countries where an individual is fined if found throwing garbage on roads or in open). Also waste collection system should be monitored. The measures are not difficult but yes need implementation through properly planned ways.

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Posted by Chhavi-Packaging Connections
12 April 2013 | 10h24

The Plastic education

I agree with Pritam, the education and awareness needs to start, rather than just banning or not preferring a packaging. Plastic is 100% recyclable, provided it is sent through a proper recycling supply chain. This needs to be the societal concern as well as for the govt. authorities to change the current garbage disposal and waste material handling and educating from the grass root level.

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Posted by PackagingConnections
29 January 2013 | 09h44

Awareness In India And Double Policy

In India large brands in fast food Industries ignore the food safety norms followed by and in developed countries. Pizzas,pastries,burgers,sandwiches and a full range of ready-to-eat fast foods are packed in un-coated paper & boards. Consumers' lack of awareness of safety norms adds up to additional profit margin for these so-called giants. Ethics in food packaging are totally ignored.by them. I recommend and advise any of this article's readers to check this issue for themselves and spread awareness.

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Posted by Pritam Kamath
22 January 2013 | 17h06

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