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More paper packaging needed says organisation

A new survey has been published today by Soil Association Certification in relation to organic food packaging.

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The survey follows research last year that showed 67 percent of shoppers expect organic to be packaged in a more environmentally-conscious way

The knowledge sharing forum was held by Soil Association in partnership with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and hosted by Ecotricity. The event brought together organic and packaging businesses to highlight ways in which they can utilise more sustainable card and paper-based packaging, as part of a solution to the plastics crisis.

The survey found that 90 percent of businesses said they were seeking to reduce their use of plastic, but only 60 percent already have a procurement policy covering sustainable sourcing of packaging. Just 40 percent of businesses specify sustainable sourcing (FSC or other) for paper and card with 55 percent not using any FSC certified materials.

… we’ve found a strong preference from shoppers for packaging that is clearly labelled if it is biodegradable, recyclable and environmentally friendly

Kevin Jones, head of forestry for Soil Association Certification comments: “Our research to date suggests that there is a real desire among both business and consumers to reduce plastic use and we’ve found a strong preference from shoppers for packaging that is clearly labelled if it is biodegradable, recyclable and environmentally friendly.

“Schemes like FSC certification mean that responsibly sourced paper and card can be a solution for many. Shoppers are looking for sustainable options, and where businesses are sourcing FSC materials, the logo should at the very least be visible to shoppers, so that they know they are buying responsibly sourced products.

“We recognise that there are practical limitations to the use of card and paper for some businesses, but we hope that by bringing organisations together at today’s forum we can help stimulate innovations that go some way to reducing plastics in the organic and other supply chains.”

Tallulah Chapman, communications manager at FSC UK says: “Without ensuring that forest-based materials such as paper are responsibly-sourced, those that choose these materials for their packaging could inadvertently be supporting destructive forest management practices, which negatively impact people and wildlife.

“Our latest research shows that 55% of UK consumers recognise the iconic FSC tick-tree logo and three quarters would rather buy a product bearing the FSC logo to an otherwise identical one without. Choosing FSC-certified packaging and including the FSC label on pack is a great way to demonstrate that companies are meeting their customer’s ethical expectations.”

Speakers at the forum included Jurgita Girzadiene who is the sustainability manager at Smurfit Kappa, one of the leading providers of paper-based packaging in the world.

If you have a view on this story email me at summer@linkpublishing.co.uk or reach out on Twitter to have your say.

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