Plastic food packaging
Plastic food packaging accounts for 40% of the annual 49 million tonnes of plastic consumed in Europe, making it the most common use of plastic. Much of this plastic packaging is neither reusable nor recyclable, and it contains many chemicals, such as bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates, linked to diseases such as cancer and infertility.
Bad design of plastic packaging contributes to the loss of EUR 75-112 billion of plastic packaging material from the economy every year, equivalent to the GDPs of Slovakia and Hungary combined.
Zero Waste Europe published a report highlighting how plastic packaging is failing to reduce food waste. In some cases, it may even fuel food waste, while simultaneously adding to the vast quantities of unrecyclable plastic waste polluting our environment.
Packaging-free shops are becoming more popular in many cities across Europe, with increasing numbers of retailers phasing-out plastic packaging and selling products in bulk. In France, for example, packaging-free producers, manufacturers, distributors and shops have joined forces to create the network Réseau Vrac to promote and develop bulk sales. Curious to learn more about their work? Listen to this podcast with Réseau Vrac’s director Célia Rennesson (in French).