Survey gives the lowdown on supermarket packaging

Waitrose has the heaviest packaging and Tesco the lightest of all the major UK supermarkets, according to research by the Local Government Association.

The LGA’s War on Waste Food Packaging Study finds that budget retailer Lidl has the least recyclable packaging, with only 50 per cent of its materials able to be used again.

Sainsbury’s has the best record on recyclability, with 67 per cent of its packaging able to be recycled.

In last year’s survey, Marks & Spencer came joint last in terms of recyclability, but has since improved to become the supermarket with the second most recyclable packaging, after Sainsbury’s.

Packaging design groups associated with the UK’s major supermarkets include Lewis Moberly, which works with Waitrose, and R Design and Rocket, which have both worked with Tesco recently. Sainsbury’s is currently assembling a new packaging roster, but last year it was the first supermarket to stock a Vibrandt-designed refillable milk jug.

Waste & Resources Action Programme points out that heavier packaging can ultimately be more sustainable than lighter packaging, since it can extend the life of products and prevent food wastage.

See the News section of the upcoming edition of Design Week for a rundown of the food packaging issues to be discussed at next month’s Pro2Pac conference.

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