Blog: Basket case

Catherine Sleep | 20 October 2005

A new project aimed at improving people’s understanding of what drives packaging development and the demand for packaging in Europe was launched this week by EUROPEN, the European Organisation for Packaging and the Environment and STFI-Packforsk, a leading Swedish research institute.

The European Shopping Baskets Programme is intended to help improve the environmental impact of packaging and maximise resource efficiency. It will record packaging data for the most commonly used products across the EU over a three-year period. National shopping baskets containing about 100 products will be defined, based on data from A. C. Nielsen.

The project is being extrapolated from a smaller Swedish shopping basket project. It is significantly more sophisticated, though, in that it will cross-reference the packaging data with social and demographic data, an innovation aimed at helping identify and quantify the impact of societal trends on packaging demand.

It is hoped the project will help the industry and consumers engineer a better balance between consumer demand for functional packaging and environmental and economic concerns.

Sounds good. We’re packaging-mad in this country. I make a conscious effort to reduce the amount of packaging I buy, and dump, yet I know our household still puts an embarrassing amount of packaging out for the refuse collectors each week. Recycling is an important part of the solution but prevention, as they say, is better than cure. Anything that helps us use less packaging, or better packaging, is good news.

European Shopping Baskets


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