[ALL4PACK EMBALLAGE PARIS meetings] Practices, uses and regulations: the state of packaging in retail & ecommerce


“Practices, uses and regulations: the current state of packaging in retail”.

When changes take off

On Wednesday afternoon, September 20, Paris Retail Week hosted the ALL4PACK EMBALLAGE PARIS conference series. The first round table set out the main current challenges facing the packaging industry, which has to cope with new regulatory requirements and, above all, a genuine cultural revolution among consumers.

For its inaugural conference, ALL4PACK EMBALLAGE PARIS offered on September 20 an “overview of packaging in retail”, with Fabrice Peltier (expert consultant in packaging eco-design), Bertrand Swiderski (Carrefour CSR Director), Brice Kapelusz (RAJA France Operations General Manager and FEVAD Board member) and Ulrich Parfum (RAJA France Purchasing and Product Offering Director).

Credit: Cleverdis

This was an opportunity to take the temperature of a sector that has to deal with radically changing regulations. “Recent years have seen the development of environmental legislation such as the Climate and Resilience Act. And these laws all bring with them new standards for packaging,” Fabrice Peltier noted in his opening remarks. For the packaging eco-design consultant, this regulatory inflation has at least one advantage: it puts everyone on an equal footing, “in a competitive world where people are often reluctant to take a step towards sustainability, for fear of becoming less competitive than their neighbour”.

But all round-table participants quickly agreed on one point: the major evolution is not one of regulation, but rather one of consumer perception. “Generally speaking, by the time regulations arrive, most of the measures have already been taken by the majority of companies. The real issue is consumer irritation with excessive packaging. Society is moving towards outright opposition to plastic, so we’ll have to deal with this,” summarised Bertrand Swiderski for Carrefour.

The FEVAD (Fédération du e-commerce et de la vente à distance) is urging the industry to adapt its practices accordingly: “The regulations simply reflect a growing concern on the part of both consumers and company employees. And our members have already integrated targets for eliminating plastic packaging throughout the supply chain,” pointed out Brice Kapelusz.

In both B2B and B2C, some practices are already disappearing. “For example, today you don’t see (and I don’t think you will) piles of polystyrene chips that shocked no one just a few years ago,” said Bertrand Swiderski.

In this new world where plastic is being vilified, will it necessarily be banished? No, according to Fabrice Peltier, though it must also be transformed into a reusable resource: “The problem with plastic is that it rhymes with ‘single use’. Our challenge is to ensure that this is no longer the case.” A vast programme…

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