ALEX STEPHENS -- The Evening Standard (London), March 28, 2008 Friday
A CONSUMER backlash against over-packaged food and drinks is revealed in a survey today.
It found almost 80 per cent of Lon-don shoppers now believe supermarkets use too much packaging on their food items.
Seventy per cent said they tried to buy products with minimal packag-ing and 80 per cent felt some foods did not need any at all.
The increasing environmental concerns of shoppers have prompted stores to redesign packaging and so improve their green credentials.
These include big names such as Tesco, which recently reduced ready-meal packaging by 35 per cent, and specialist producers such as the Seri-ous Food Company, which sells pud-dings in reusable ceramic dishes.
A spokesman for Mintel, which carried out the survey, said: Retail-ers are coming under increasing pressure to introduce eco-friendly packaging. It is no longer enough for a pack to look good.
The survey found 77 per cent of Londoners recycle some or all of their supermarket packaging. How-ever, London still sends 3.4 million tonnes of waste a year to landfill , at a cost of £24 per tonne. Some experts forecast this could rise to almost 23 million tonnes by 2020.
Luke Vincent of Dragon, a brand agency that advises companies on package design, said: These findings are no surprise. There has been a shift in peoples values. They are increasingly aware of environmen-tal issues and with that comes guilt.
Customers expect manufacturers to make it easier for them to do the right thing . We want to go shopping and not feeling guilty. Packaging is not always the most significant issue when it comes to green credentials, but it is very tangible, which is why it has become important . Environmentally friendly packag-ing shows a company is modern and of good quality.
ITS A WRAP: HOW SOME FIRMS ARE REDESIGNING THEIR PRODUCTS
Andrew Peace Masterpeace wine £5.99 Previously only available in glass bottles, these wines now also come in Tetra Pak cartons, which use fewer resources in production and transport.
Tesco Healthy Living ready meals (sample price £3.41) The amount of packaging has been reduced by 35 per cent by replacing the old-style plastic tray and cardboard sleeve with a single, microwave-compatible tray.
Ribena 90p for 500ml bottle Bottles are now made from 100 per cent recycled material (previously only 40 per cent) and are recyclable.
Innocent Smoothie £1.75 100 per cent recycled plastic in 250ml bottles, an increase from an original recycled content of 25 per cent.
Jordans organic muesli £2.78 for 700g.
Packaged in a film bag that can go straight into the garden compost bin.
Green & Blacks miniature bar collection £4.99 New packaging is smaller and uses Forest Stewardship Council-accredited card made from wood fibre taken from sustainable forests.
Village Bakery organic rye bread £2.19 Packed in biodegradable and compostable bags. Previously sold in thin polypropylene bags.