Britain’s ‘Lunch On The Go’ Addiction Results In 11bn Pieces Of Packaging Waste Each Year | Valdamark

Britain’s lunch on the go habit has a huge cost! It generates 11 billion items of packaging waste each year.

waste packaging


Britain’s ‘lunch on the go’ addiction becomes a new area of focus in the ongoing battle to help the environment by reducing packaging waste.

It is thought that this habit generates a staggering 11 billion pieces of packaging waste each year, much of which does not get recycled.

Many workers have for a long time now bought takeaway and fast food lunches regularly, with the numbers steadily rising over the last five years. This is from research conducted by the environmental charity Hubbub.

The waste generated includes everything from sandwich boxes to crisp packets and napkins.

Hubub conducted a survey of over 1,200 workers that found the average lunch purchase included 4 packaged items. Over 76% of these shoppers picked up a main product like a sandwich carton with a further 70% going on to get a packet of crisps or other item. Interestingly another 65% went on to grab a napkin in addition to the above items.

Most of the people surveyed conceded that they were buying lunch on the go more regularly than they did in the 5 years previous.

The research also found that the total spend by consumers on these lunches was a whopping 13.6 billion each year.

Over a quarter said they felt they were too busy too make their own!

We are seeing these changes as a result of the UK’s constantly evolving food culture.

The number of places to eat out has increased dramatically over the last 10 years. Consumers tends to agree with 20% saying they feel like there are more places to eat out with a further 19% agreeing that it is more tempting than it used to be.

Hubbbub have commented that the problem is these items create huge levels of waste. The majority of which is made from mixed materials like pet/alu/pe, meaning you can’t recycle it.

Another problem is contamination! Formats like laminated aluminium foil bags will often contain food residue making them hazardous to recycle.

The advice is that by planning lunches in advance and using whats in your fridge you can drastically reduce the amount of packaging you use.

You also save money!

Lunch-on-the-Go Continues but There are Changes

1. Paying Attention to Sustainability
All firms should carefully consider making sustainability a top priority. Consumers are more conscious and concerned than ever. An impressive 83% of them say that sustainability is a deciding factor when choosing buying decisions.

Furthermore, reducing the size of the packaging not only reduces material consumption but also takes up less space. Compact packaging allows for efficient shipping and delivery regardless of location or distance. Investing in sustainable packaging doesn't just create customer satisfaction. It will also be a huge benefit to your brand's image and long-term success

2. Technology-Enabled Packaging
Businesses can use resources like Near Field Communication (NFC) and QR codes to provide customers with access to additional product information. These tools allow for more tailored marketing campaigns.

Other than providing information, technology-enabled packaging can also add an aesthetically pleasing touch to products. This can help businesses stand out in a crowded marketplace. Additionally, NFCs can aid in tamper prevention, providing companies with more control over the goods they are selling. Tapping into this new frontier doesn't just benefit businesses. It opens up exciting new possibilities for consumers looking to get more from their food experience.

3. Transparent Packaging and Clear Labels
With the rise of health consciousness, many companies are beginning to switch to transparent packaging and clear labels. Consumers appreciate when businesses strive towards transparency. Nearly 40% of them even claim that clear packaging would encourage them to purchase a product.

Additionally, companies can use Smart Label, which allows customers to access information about the food item by scanning a QR code affixed to the product. Some brands even opt for literally “transparent” packages. This reinforces feelings of trust and openness with consumers, making them more likely to choose such brands over their competitors.

By displaying content in an honest, straightforward manner, businesses can gain customer loyalty and boost sales over time. For these reasons, it is no wonder that we are seeing an increasing trend of transparency in food packaging today.

4. Personalisation Creates Connections
It’s no secret that consumers feel disconnected from businesses and the products they sell. To make a lasting impression, companies have to go the extra mile with their marketing strategies. Personalisation is one of the best methods for establishing a relationship. Studies have shown that about 70% of marketers believe in its power to boost customer engagement8.

By showing customers their names on labels, they felt as if there was something special in the product especially meant for them. Another way to appeal to certain segments is through targeting messages.

Overall, personalisation is an essential tool for connecting with customers and creating lasting impressions. It communicates a feeling of consideration and attention that helps users feel special and appreciated — something any business would strive for!

5. Take Advantage of Portability
Working with the natural inclinations of humans to be able to move around and take their food with them is a great way to capitalise on consumer needs. Additionally, it allays worries about conventional plastic packing contaminating the environment and ending up in landfills.

Portability allows companies to provide convenience without sacrificing sustainability. This means everyone from outdoorsy types to busy commuters can get the most out of this type of packaging.

Consumers increasingly want the flexibility and portability that comes with being able to eat food on the go. Thus, companies should leverage this increased demand by creating eco-friendly packaging that meets these needs. Moving forward, it will become increasingly important for businesses to think about adopting packaging solutions that are both consumer-friendly and earth friendly.

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