Packaging Trends

BBC Data on Plastics Packaging

This is a summary of the BBC article: What's the real price of getting rid of plastic packaging? Published on 6 July 2018.

Plastic Packaging

  • Used for last 70 years as food packaging
  • Annual worldwide production = 78 million tonnes
  • Worldwide production cost = $198 billion
  • A 330ml plastic soft drink bottle = 18 grams; glass bottle = between 190g and 250g.
  • Transporting glass bottles instead of plastics = 40% more energy
  • Soft drinks plastic packaging = 20% of the total food and drink packaging
  • Coca-Cola produces 38,250 tonnes of plastic packaging in the UK every year
  • Coca-Cola sells more than 110 billion single-use plastic bottles every year.

plastic packaging and extended food life

Marine Litter

  • 8 million metric tonnes of plastic are thrown into the ocean annually.


  • More than a third of the food in the EU sold in plastic packaging
  • EU residents (510 million) produce around 31kg of plastic packaging waste per year per person

Cost of Packaging

price of plastics vs bioplastics

  • A sugarcane PLA burger box is almost twice as expensive as a polystyrene PE burger box
  • A biodegradable takeaway fork made from plant starch costs 3.5 times more than a basic plastic one.
  • Due to rising oil prices, recycled plastic is cheaper than virgin oil based plastic.
  • A tonne of virgin PET = £1,000; a tonne of clear recycled PET = £158.
  • World Economic Forum: reuse and refill measures could actually reduce packaging costs by at least $8 billion a year

BBC Article


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