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Latest News Wrap-Up / 23.01.2024

Supermarkets face fruit and veg packaging ban

In our latest Wrap-Up … Supermarkets face fruit and veg packaging ban. Experts gaze into the future of packaging. Governments prepare to tackle shrinkflation. Lawsuit looms over candy wrapper. Flexible Plastic Fund reveals successes. Pringles are popping new tubes. And more …


Supermarkets face fruit and veg packaging ban

The UK government is considering new regulations to eliminate pre-packaged fruit and vegetables in supermarkets. The proposed laws, expected to be enforced this year, aim to reduce plastic packaging and food waste by requiring major supermarkets to sell loose produce.

The regulations may also mandate the use of recyclable bags for loose items. The initiative, driven by the climate action group Wrap, targets selling 30% of loose fruits and vegetables by 2025, increasing to 50% by 2030. Some exceptions, like soft fruits, may still be packaged in plastic for quality reasons.

In addition, Sainsbury's is the first UK retailer to replace plastic packaging with cardboard for its own-brand mushrooms. This change is estimated to save over 775 tonnes of plastic annually.



Packaging will “put on the rizz” and deliver more style to attract customers, according to industry expert Claire Sand.

In her “2024 Food Packaging Predictions”, Claire also highlighted:

  • The digitalisation of decisions.
  • Food safety rift being used as leverage.
  • Sustainable packaging initiatives becoming less holistic and more realistic.


Improved automation is a significant driver behind several of the biggest trends that will impact packaging sustainability in 2024, according to “Sustainable Brands”.

Other predicted trends include:

  • Reduction of air/space – for example, within crisp packets.
  • Plastic reduction and replacement – fuelled by government crackdowns.

AND  …


The packaging industry is rapidly evolving, and Packaging World has identified three key trends that are driving change. They are:

  1. Sustainability to drive innovation and collaboration.
  2. Digitalisation to support new business models.
  3. Focus on smart, sustainable, and customised packaging.


  • Fantastico growth: The Italian packaging technology industry expects revenue growth of 6%, year on year – to more than £5.5 billion, according to preliminary figures from the industry research centre.
  • Hey, Presto: A flexible stand-up pouch has been launched by Presto Products’ Fresh-Lock team. The packaging, with more than 50% post-consumer recycled (PCR) content, is claimed to be the first of its kind and is intended for the food industry.
  • Brand new thinking: Food packaging has evolved to provide brands with new ways to deliver consumers a complete brand experience, says Patrick Nycz in Forbes. He has explored the topic of the growing trend of connected packaging - digital marketing and branded food packaging working together.
  • Experts speak up: The full speaker line-up has been announced for Packaging Innovations and Empack 2024, which takes place on February 21 and 22 at the NEC, Birmingham (Also see “Dates for your Diary” below).


  • Hungarian steps: The Hungarian government has introduced a new measure requiring food retailers to include labelling indicating shrinkflation. Shrinkflation refers to the reduction in the quantity or quality of a product without a corresponding decrease in its price.
  • French plans: France plans to introduce a new rule requiring shops to disclose shrinkflation on product labels. The initiative aims to enhance consumer information through clear and precise packaging labels, specifying the reduced product weight and the corresponding increase in cost per kilogram.
  • Canadian concerns: A recent report from the Canadian Centre for Food Integrity found that 62% of consumers had concerns about misleading food labels and marketing. CBC has explored the topic, including shrinkflation.
  • British warning: British supermarkets are also under pressure to put warning labels on products guilty of the shrinkflation rip-off.


  • Pots of paper: Quaker Oats plans to make its porridge pots more environmentally friendly by switching to paper packaging. This move is expected to remove up to 200 tonnes of plastic annually.
  • Wrapper wrangle: Hershey is facing a lawsuit from a Florida woman who claims that the holiday-themed Reese's peanut butter candies do not match the artistic details on the packaging. In the proposed action seeking a minimum of £4 million, it is alleged that Hershey misled consumers by falsely advertising that the candies would feature "explicitly carved out artistic designs".
  • Popping new tubes: Pringles has introduced home-recyclable paper tubes in collaboration with Tesco. The eco-friendly packaging replaces the previous steel base with a paper alternative, while retaining a plastic cap. The design aims to simplify the recycling process for consumers.
  • Mono treat: Mars China is launching a dark chocolate cereal Snickers bar in recyclable mono-material polypropylene (PP), following recycling guidelines. This packaging is designed for easy recycling in dedicated channels.


  • Trial success: The UK's largest trial for collecting plastic bags and wrapping from households has yielded positive results. The trial is part of the Flexible Plastic Fund (FPF), which aims to implement nationwide recycling collections for flexible plastic waste, including plastic bags, films, and soft plastic wrappers, by 2027.
  • Plant opens: Myplas has opened its flexible film recycling plant in Rogers, Minnesota, United States. The plant is equipped with two lines capable of handling both high and low-density polyethylene films, catering to food-grade for HDPE and non-food-grade for LDPE.
  • Scientific breakthrough: An international collaboration focused on providing scientific data related to the design, sortability, and mechanical recyclability of flexible packaging has released its inaugural report, concentrating on Near Infrared (NIR) technology. Led by CEFLEX (the Circular Economy for Flexible Packaging), the initial testing demonstrated that the NIR spectrum contains information about all elements for many multi-material, multi-layer structures.
  • Picking up the pieces: Australia's biggest recycler and packaging manufacturing company, Visy, has acquired the assets of Victorian plastics recycling business Advanced Circular Polymers (ACP) following its collapse late last year.


  • Redefining the landscape: Counting down to Fruit Logistica, Proseal say they are all set to take centre stage with an exciting line-up of technologies and innovations that promise to redefine the landscape of fresh produce packing.
  • Go-to solution:  Packaging Automation is teasing us to “Get Ready for the Seal Integrity Revolution”. They say the Rev5 is about to become your go-to solution!


Single-use plastic items mostly eliminated

The UK Plastics Pact's latest report has revealed how important public/private partnerships are in delivering a fast impact ahead of Global Plastic Treaty negotiations. Success to date has included:

  • 99% of problematic single-use plastic items eliminated in the UK.
  • 71% of plastic packaging is now recyclable.
  • 55% of plastic packaging is recycled. 
  • Recycled content has tripled since 2018. 
  • Changes to plastic packaging, including the increase in recycled content, have cut carbon emissions by 10.5%


  • A taxing matter: The Plastic Packaging Tax (PPT) system faces abuse from foreign imports, disadvantaging UK manufacturers, according to MPs during a PPT debate in the UK parliament. Since its April 2022 launch, UK manufacturers can verify recycled content through chain of custody or production records. Concerns persist about policing imports' claimed 30% recycled content to ensure genuine adherence.
  • Tackling waste: The European Commission has proposed a law to address the increasing issue of packaging waste in the EU, driven by online shopping and "grab and go" consumption. EU countries have supported key targets in the proposed rules, including requiring all packaging to be recyclable by 2030.
  • Consumer advice: American retailers must lead consumers to waste less food at home. That’s one conclusion from Olga Kachook, director of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, as she gives an American perspective on how European countries use packaging to tackle food waste.
  • RRRR-ewards: Moy Park has successfully cut packaging by 10% across its operations. The company specialises in chicken products and supplies retailers and food service providers across the UK, Ireland, and Europe. Moy Park's strategy, dubbed Remove, Reduce, Recycle, and Research, targets a 5% annual reduction in overall packaging and a simultaneous 5% increase in recyclable packaging.
  • Sustainable decisions: According to research, 75% of UK consumers consider companies’ environmental commitments important when making shopping decisions, with one-third willing to switch to brands that are taking steps to be more sustainable.
  • Plastics registry: The Canadian government seeks input on a new national plastics registry. Experts say it could create a lucrative system encouraging companies to salvage waste plastic and reimburse consumers and retailers for dropping off scraps.
  • A funghi discovery:  A start-up in Israel has grown fungi on top of industrial organic waste, leading to biomaterials that replace chemical additives in plastic packaging.
  • Joining a pact: The Alliance for Sustainable Packaging for Foods has been launched to “engage with regulators, governments, researchers and civil society organisations". The aim is to ensure that packaging regulations for food achieve environmental sustainability without compromising food safety and product quality and increasing the industry's carbon footprint.


From the KM team … protecting, presenting, and preserving your products.

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