How does the eco-balance of food packaging affect our purchasing decisions? And what consequences do our choices have for the food industry? We invite you on a journey in the world of sustainable food packaging, including an inspiring solution for safe and sustainable transport.
Reading through the results of recent consumer surveys, this example might represent very well the current attitude of many consumers today towards food packaging materials: Driven by our society’s growing awareness of climate change and its effects, many of us turn increasingly to sustainable food packaging options such as glass, cardboard, and paper in the supermarket.
Exactly this attitude towards packaging materials dominated the results of the online survey on sustainable packaging, conducted by the global consultancy Simon-Kucher & Partners in 2021. In this representative survey, roughly 75% of the 1001 respondents stated that sustainable packaging was of high value to them. Moreover, a striking proportion of 83% indicated being willing to pay up to 6.5% more for sustainable packaging. These results demonstrate the high value that today's consumers attach to sustainable packaging.
Glass packaging: A challenge in transportation
The changing consumer behavior is one of the reasons why food manufacturers also focus increasingly on sustainable packaging materials. Especially glass is among the front runners when it comes to direct food contact.
However, it needs to be noted that not every glass packaging is sustainable, as the eco-balance for glass packaging depends on certain criteria. On this matter, the German Consumer Advice Center North-Rhine Westphalia (NRW) writes on their website: «Although disposable glass can be returned to the melting process as often as desired, the energy consumption is very high when it is melted down. Therefore, single-use glass does not have a good eco-balance. » This underlines the importance of reusable glass.
On their website, the German Consumer Advice Center (NRW) also points out the challenges for food manufacturers that come along to use glass multiple times to achieve a positive eco-balance: The safe transport of glass can be challenging, as filled jars are often not only heavy but also very fragile.