While the price of many food products are rising, some brands are abusing over-packaging and giving “consumers the illusion that there is a lot more product than there really is”, denounces Thursday September 22 on franceinfo Lisa Faulet , scientific and food manager at the National Association for the Defense of Consumers and Users (CLCV). >>> Consumption: is bulk a good deal? The CLCV studied the packaging of 250 products in nine large retail chains. Although the vacuum is necessary to preserve food products, some “sachets of almonds, lentils or even ravioli contain up to 56% vacuum”, she underlined. The association “asks manufacturers to reduce unnecessary voids and unnecessary packaging as much as possible”. franceinfo: Have you noticed a trend towards over-packaging? Lisa Faulet: This is one of the findings we made in our study. Obviously, the packaging has an essential role in preserving the product and protecting it during handling. But what we have found is that there is a large number of packaging that seems completely excessive or useless. Indeed, there are sachets, for example of almonds, sachets of lentils or even ravioli which in fact contain up to 56% of vacuum so that, at first sight, one has the impression that the sachet is well filled. We made this observation really on all the shelves: dry products, seeds, lentils, pasta, biscuits and also fresh products, in particular trays of sausages or bacon bits, for example. Why do brands abuse this process? The vacuum is necessary to also protect the product, but when we see that half of the packaging is made up of vacuum, it does not seem to us necessarily justified and completely excessive. The point is to give the consumer the illusion that there are many more products than there really are. And then, the fact of having a large packaging, it also allows brands to be able to put forward beautiful photos or marketing mentions to attract the consumer and make him want to buy the product. The anti-waste law passed in 2020 is not enough? Yes, there is the AGEC law [relative à la lutte contre le gaspillage et à l’économie circulaire] to promote the circular economy, which aims precisely to reduce packaging. There are very, very global objectives, for example, to reduce single-use plastic packaging by 20% by 2025. It doesn’t go far enough for us. Lisa Faulet (CCLV) at franceinfo There is no ban on using plastic film which is completely superfluous around tea boxes, for example, or removing cardboard sleeves around yoghurts which are not useful. There is no such obligation at all for professionals. Are there alternatives to these plastic and cardboard packaging? Manufacturers are asked to reduce unnecessary voids and unnecessary packaging as much as possible. Afterwards, the consumer can also, in the mode of purchase, favor bulk products, for example, choose products which are without over-packaging since there are some. There are professionals who make efforts and reduce this packaging as much as possible. And then also turn to bulk by bringing your own container. It could also be a solution.
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