What are packages?
A third of the weight of our bins comes from packaging. If we want to reduce the environmental impact of our waste, it is imperative to make an effort to reduce its quantity and its harmfulness. But if the consumer, in front of his overflowing trash can, often has the impression that he has been "handed" an impressive amount of unnecessary packaging for marketing reasons, his perception is often a little distorted; on the one hand, he does not always perceive all the challenges of this sector and on the other hand, he considers himself to be “outside” the problem even though he is an essential actor.
The roles of packaging
- Conservation and hygiene.
Depending on the product, protection may be necessary against humidity, light or oxygen for example. Food safety must be taken into account: packaging reduces contact with sources of contamination from the factory, during transport and in the store, but also at home with effective resealable packaging.
- The protection of man and the environment.
This is particularly important in the case of dangerous products: the packaging must not have any leaks, be safe to handle and have child safety systems.
- Propose appropriate portions.
The greater the quantity of product, the smaller the proportion of packaging. But the trend is towards reducing portion weight, whether by choice (the consumer to take responsibility) or by need (with the increase in the number of single people or the decrease in the number of children per family). The individualization of products is a strong marketing trend today, to the detriment of respect for the environment.
- Storage and transportation.
It is this aspect of the packaging that most often escapes the consumer. A product sometimes travels great distances, it can be stored for a long time and under various conditions. The design of packaging must therefore take into account variations in temperature, humidity, shocks, and the weight of the products stacked above it. It must be suitable for infrastructure (travel by plane, truck, outdoor storage, etc.) and be calibrated to withstand the worst conditions it could encounter. It is therefore necessary to optimize the consistency between the sales packaging (that which the consumer finds on the shelves), the groupage packaging (boxes, racks, etc.) and the transport packaging (pallets, containers, etc.). While minimizing costs, ie reducing weight and space.
- The information and marketing.
The packaging used to support the legal information for consumers but also for labeling, traceability etc. Finally comes the marketing that increases product visibility and attractiveness to consumers.
- Report in .pdf “To be or not to be packed. 32 questions we ask ourselves about packaging ”, 1.2 Mo, published by the National Packaging Council (CNE)
- Report in .pdf "Useful and unnecessary packaging" published by Agir pour l'Environnement, the CNID and France Nature Environnement.