Plain Packaging in Australia Set to Target Junk Food and Alcohol?

According to a senior partner of the law firm – Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF), Australian regulators are going to introduce graphic warning labels on the packaging of soft drinks, alcoholic beverages, and unhealthy food items very soon.

Coloured Cans

This law firm has successfully defended BAT (British American Tobacco) in a $280 billion racketeering case in the US. Representatives of this firm are presently engaged in taking on the WTO (World Trade Organisation) on behalf of BAT over warning labels on tobacco packaging and plain packaging.

Several of the company’s representatives have told Fairfax Media that tobacco is often the “Canary in the Coal Mine” when it comes to changes for warnings and labelling of products around the world. Benjamin Rubinstein, a partner at the law firm, said that beer bottles that have an image of a cirrhotic liver could soon be a familiar site in Australia. He added that the public health community has been mulling over whether to focus on tobacco or bring other unhealthy, fatty, and sugary foods in addition to alcohol into its gambit.

According to the HSF partner, there is a possibility of regulators pushing plans for introducing graphic warning labels on the packaging of soft drinks, alcohol products, and foods that are unhealthy in the future. Mr. Rubinstein said that he agreed with public health authorities’ way of thinking as it is right for them to encourage healthier lifestyles.

The Road Ahead for Plain Packaging Initiatives
A spokesperson from the law firm said companies in Australia and elsewhere should be prepared to deal with cross-border litigations. The law firm had a winning defence team that got a favourable ruling in Britain’s first tobacco case that was heard at the High Court of Justice in Northern Ireland, so the company knows what expectations should be. The spokesperson added that such litigations often tend to jump geographical borders like a virus.

In 2015, the British Medical Journal made public the results of fourteen distinct studies that demonstrated the impact of plain packaging on public health. The results of these studies indicated the effectiveness of the laws as they were producing positive public health outcomes.

The Proven Benefits of Plain Packaging
Plain packaging laws were passed in Ireland in April, which has made tobacco products lose their branding on packets. This is a similar situation to what has occurred in Australia which also launched plain packaging laws on tobacco products in 2011. The tobacco industry was told to remove everything from cigarette packs apart from graphic health warnings. The Australian government is also pursuing a possible change to packaging laws on harmful food products and alcohol too.

The initial findings of such changes are that they have had a hugely positive effect on the number of smokers and new-to-smoking populations, and the theory is that a similar effect will occur with similar laws on the plain packaging of harmful food and drinks.

What are the Overall Benefits of Plain Packaging?
Plain packaging is the practice of putting food and drink items into containers and packets that have no branding or are not visually appealing. Plain packaging and plain packaging labels are becoming more and more popular over recent years, as more companies look at ways of simplifying their product offerings and reducing wastage.

There are many benefits to plain packaging, and these include a reduction in confusion for consumers, reduced manufacturing costs, and improved shelf life of products. Plain packaging also helps to reduce food waste, as it is easier to store and transport unopened products when they have less elaborate packaging and display units.

However, the focus on the benefits of plain packaging is the effect this can have on the consumer of the products. This type of packaging has become an increasingly popular measure to reduce and discourage people from taking up smoking. The plain packaging laws mandate that all tobacco products must be sold in uniform, drab packaging with no colourful branding or designs.

There is evidence to suggest that plain packaging reduced the appeal of smoking, especially among young people, with less cigarette consumption occurring. In addition to this, plain packaging has made it easier for people to quit smoking (and to not start smoking) by making it less enjoyable and more challenging to find cigarettes.

It is a proven fact that packaging that is plain but includes health warnings, appeals less to consumers and it is, without doubt, a good option for governments and authorities to pursue their plans of introducing these laws onto food packaging and drinks too, where these products are considered bad for health. Manufacturers and business owners will understand the need to implement plain packaging on food packaging and other types to help their customers to be healthier.

If you enjoyed this article, please visit our website to see similar articles.

Go Back

Featured Products

  • Heros

    Learning From Brands Like Ben & Jerry’s, Newman...

    Marketing magic transforms brands into real-life superheroes. Whether they champion communities, empower diversity, or embrace eco-heroics, brands can inspire with captivating stories. Think underdog origins, brand-as-hero journeys, and authentic struggles...

    Learning From Brands Like Ben & Jerry’s, Newman...

    Marketing magic transforms brands into real-life superheroes. Whether they champion communities, empower diversity, or embrace eco-heroics, brands can inspire with captivating stories. Think underdog origins, brand-as-hero journeys, and authentic struggles...

  • Benefits of Sustainable Sourcing

    Benefits of Sustainable Sourcing will be Promot...

    PEFC, the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification, will be a participant at the upcoming Packaging Innovations show in London on September 16th and 17th. The organization will showcase...

    Benefits of Sustainable Sourcing will be Promot...

    PEFC, the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification, will be a participant at the upcoming Packaging Innovations show in London on September 16th and 17th. The organization will showcase...

  • Amcor Pouch Packaging Solution Addresses Drug Device Delivery Challenges

    Amcor Pouch Packaging Solution Addresses Drug D...

    In the demanding world of medical and healthcare, ensuring the sterility and shelf life of combination medical devices is paramount. This requires high-performance, sophisticated packaging materials that act as effective...

    Amcor Pouch Packaging Solution Addresses Drug D...

    In the demanding world of medical and healthcare, ensuring the sterility and shelf life of combination medical devices is paramount. This requires high-performance, sophisticated packaging materials that act as effective...

1 of 3