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Frugality is in, excess packaging is out

Frugality is in, excess packaging is out

Back to the future: frugality is in, excess packaging is out

Some are hailing this as a “back to the future” age of paper bags and recyclable glass bottles, reversing the switch to plastic packaging which was introduced for greater production efficiency, lower cost and less weight in distribution.

“Glass packaging was precisely the system that was abandoned in the 1970s because it was wasteful, outmoded and tied retailers and pubs into the distribution systems of dominant manufacturers,” explains Nick Cooper, executive director at Landor Associates.

Frugality when it comes to packaging is in. ‘The bigger the box, the better the toy’ is out, with consumer sentiment shifting. “It’s now the bigger the box, the fuller the bin,” says Pippa Moyle, founder of social media platform City Girl Network. “Brands need to start shifting their processes towards this new psychology.”

Some are hailing this as a ‘back to the future’ age of paper bags and recyclable glass bottles, reversing the switch to plastic packaging

Ms Moyle started a campaign called Trash Talk, with the support of Clarity Environmental, to identify consumer opinion on packaging waste, across its network in ten cities. “Environmental activism is becoming cool. The more that people are educated, the more questions they’re asking. The biggest challenge is the lack of communication between consumers and brands,” she says.

This has come at a time when there’s been an explosion in sustainable packaging solutions, bioplastics, new and innovative materials that are biodegradable, as well as recyclable products, all entering the market in a bid to satisfy evolving consumer demand.

“Yes, these are exciting times, but it’s all being done in a rush. Of course, we need new investment, but all these innovations are being created in isolation. We need an ecosystem approach,” says Benjamin Punchard, global packaging insights director at Mintel. “If new innovative packaging has a label saying check local recycling, that means nothing at all to most people.”


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