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European plastics packaging study released: What’s in your shopping cart?

Article-European plastics packaging study released: What’s in your shopping cart?

The odds are good that, whatever it is, it is packaged in plastics. A comprehensive and wide-ranging study of how much packaging a typical household shopping basket contains and what materials it is made of has just been released by The European Shopping Baskets Program (ESB), a joint project of Europen (The European Organization for Packaging and the Environment; Brussels, Belgium) and STFI-Packforsk AB Stockholm.

The report provides detailed findings from a study of typical household shopping baskets in five countries (Estonia, Finland, Italy, Poland and the U.K.), with the study designed to generate data that will enable an improved understanding of what drives development and demand for packaging used to deliver fast moving consumer goods in Europe. 

The packaging of 468 products was studied, covering leading branded products in 54 different product segments. It looked at primary, secondary, and transport packaging, and the influence of reusable packaging was considered when calculating the results.
Among the report’s findings is that, with a 44% share, plastic is the most common primary packaging material for the products in the baskets, with paper and board at 23% the second most common primary packaging material. A copy of the abridged, public version of the report is available at The full report, which includes all the statistical analysis based on the collected data, is available for purchase from Europen. [email protected]

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