Friday, April 27, 2018

Resealable Containers and Plastics

The European Union passed legislation that all plastic packaging in the EU market needs to be recyclable or reusable by 2030.  Currently about 25 million tons of plastic waste is generated in Europe each year but less that 30% of it gets recycled.

Plastic lid

Last year, Czechs passed legislation making it illegal for grocery stores and retail shops to give free plastic bags to customers.  In supermarkets, a plastic bag normally costs 1-2 Kč (~5-10¢).  But the thin plastic bags used for fruit & veg are still free.

This may explain why most dairy products here don't come in resealable containers.  In the USA, yogurt and sour cream containers come with plastic, resealable lids.  Here, the lids are usually made of tin foil and are not resealable.

Resealable packaging
In the USA, sliced cheese comes with ziplock packaging which helps keep things fresh.  In Czechland, you simply tear open a corner of the package.  The packages are not resealable.

Czech packaging
I have two theories as to why.  The first is that most packaging here isn't resealable because of a conscious effort to reduce plastic waste.

The second theory is because food here isn't packed with preservatives.  And portion sizes are smaller.  So there's less of a need for resealable packaging here.  For example, here a packet of cheese is 100 grams which is normally just five slices.  In the USA, a packet would be at least 10 slices.

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