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Food: Packaging

Volume 498: debated on Thursday 29 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of categories of products which are presented for sale in unnecessary packaging; and if he will make a statement. (295593)

There is no fixed definition of what constitutes ‘unnecessary packaging’; decisions have to be made on a case by case basis and as such these decisions will only be relevant to that particular product.

However, one way of identifying opportunities for packaging reductions is to use benchmarking tools such as the Waste and Resources Action Programme’s “Best in Class” database. This database compares a range of packaging solutions used for the same product and ranks them from the lightest to the heaviest. We encourage all users of packaging to make use of this data when specifying packaging. Action on the basis of this information is often taken at the sector level through voluntary agreements e.g. the Courtauld Commitment, or can be taken by individual packaging producers.