Environmental and Cost Consultants for Packaged Goods

Checking Out Food Waste

This research by PEC Partnership on behalf of Incpen has just been launched .

The report quantifies the main food product types that are dumped or reduced to clear in the UK retail supply chain.

This study identifies the top 20+ food types that are dumped or reduced-to-clear between depot and checkout.

Together they account for 22,000 tonnes of wastage in the retail supply chain every year.

Valued at £43 million, these products are either dumped because of damage or spoilage or sold as reduced-to-clear.

This is the first study of its type based on actual data from retailers rather than on interviews with retail representatives.

It uses data from three major retailers who together account for 65% by value of the UK FMCG retail market.


Written by PEC Partnership - © 2011

November 12, 2013 at 2:24 pm

Global Food Contact Packaging Report 2012


Produced in collaboration between PEC Partnership limited and the
European Carton Makers Association (ECMA)


This report lists and gives details of the food contact packaging regulations by country, providing a summary matrix overview per country together with supporting information. This report covers both paper and plastics.

The report shows for each country covered:

• The government ministry or competent authority responsible for the legislation with contact details

• The formal title(s) of the relevant legislation and regulations

• The general requirements of the legislation

• The specific requirements of the legislation

• Testing required and test methods

• Any information available on competent testing bodies or a source through which to identify such bodies

pec Flyer v.3 Dj (PECVersion)• Sources of information and clarification

Written by PEC Partnership - © 2011

October 11, 2012 at 3:59 pm

When is Packaging Too Big?

When is a Package Too Big?
A great deal has been written recently in the press about packaging and how some believe it is excessive. But have you ever wondered how you can tell whether a package is in fact excessive? Toy packaging has been the most recent target of such comment. The first essential is to get the “problem into perspective. So how significant is toy packaging overall?
British households generate six million tons of packaging waste each year, according to official figures, of which 1.8 million is packaging for toys, appliances, computers, TVs and mobile phones. According to INCPEN figures In all, toy packaging accounts for around 5,000 tonnes per year – which equates to about 0.3% of all packaging used.
What are the regulations governing toy packaging?
Toy packaging, in common with packaging in general is governed by the so called ‘Essential Requirements’ of The EU Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive 94/62/EC. In the UK they are contained within The Packaging (Essential Requirements) Regulations 2003 (SI 2003 No 194) as amended by the Packaging (Essential Requirements) (Amendment) Regulations, 2004 (SI 2004 No 1188) and the Packaging (Essential Requirements) (Amendment) Regulations 2006 (SI 2006 No 1492).
Guidance notes have been published by BERR and are available at
1. LACORS, referred to in this document is now known as ‘Local Government Regulation’, that links to the LACORS web site are now out of date and that LACORS documents referenced may no longer be available to the general public. The new web site address is
2. The INCPEN web site has been undergoing reorganisation and the links shown in this document are no longer valid. INCPEN documents are now available through the following link:
Given that most recent comment regarding toy packaging has centred on the size of packaging then the most relevant of these Essential Requirements is the following:
“Packaging shall be so manufactured that the packaging volume and weight be limited to the minimum adequate amount to maintain the necessary level of safety, hygiene and acceptance for the packed product and for the consumer.”
How are these regulations interpreted?
CEN (the European Standards body) at the request of the EU Commission have published a series of standards linked to the Directive. One of these Standards, “EN 13428: Requirements specific to manufacturing and composition – Prevention by source reduction” addresses this issue of package size. It is available for purchase as a British Standard BS EN 13428 2004
There is also a publication available to all from INCPEN entitled “Common Understandings & Common Sense”, but note that the LACORS reference included is no longer valid. There is a further report available to INCPEN members only entitled “Guidance on Packaging Essential Requirements Regulations INCPEN/LACORS, 1999)”.
Where required the labelling on the packaging must comply with the Toy (Safety) Regulations 1995 and any other relevant toy regulations.
How are the regulations enforced?
In England, Scotland and Wales the regulations are enforced by the trading standards departments of local authorities, but in Northern Ireland by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment.
Thus far there have been very few enforcement actions taken and none have thus far lead to prosecution. There are however indications that enforcement may be more rigorous in future. A summary of the legal position has been published by the Yorkshire law firm Gordons LLP
What governs the size of packaging?
Clearly the pack must be large enough to contain the toy and any associated materials such as usage instructions but beyond that:
• There must be sufficient space to allow the product to be inserted and removed easily and without damage
• There must be allowance for any padding or retaining materials that prevent the product being damaged by shock, impact or vibration
• The display area on the exterior of the pack must be large enough to allow customers to identify the product on the shelf, understand the nature of the product, its compatibility with other units and its suitability for the person who will use it. There must also be space for legally required information.
• The pack must be designed to help prevent pilfering (an important contributor to shrinkage
• In the retail environment the pack must handle and display well and be attractive to the customer
• In the home it must continue to carry out its function for as long as necessary, that may include acting as a means of storage for the product if appropriate
What is shrinkage?
The Global Retail Theft Barometer, compiled by the Centre for Retail Research for Checkpoint Systems, shows that UK retailers lost £3.8 billion to theft by customers. Shrinkage amounts to 1.3 per cent of retailers’ turnover. The survey found that 43 per cent of losses were from customers, with theft by employees accounting for 35 per cent.
DISCLAIMER: This article does not constitute and is not intended to constitute legal advice or advice to follow any particular course of action. PEC Partnership Ltd. does not accept any liability for the content of this article and it does not constitute advice to follow any course of action. Any person wishing to produce or design packaging to comply with existing legislation is advised to seek professional advice.

Written by PEC Partnership - © 2011

July 11, 2011 at 7:31 am

Government Review of Waste Policy in England 2011

The recently published government review of Waste Policy in England is encouraging in that it starts to recognise waste as a resource and has as a key aim, decoupling waste from economic growth. It is also commendable that the focus is turning from weight of waste to carbon impact.

On the negative side, the review very much focuses on the waste hierarchy and emphasises particularly recycling as the preferred recovery route. It is disappointing that the government ignores the important caveat in the Waste Framework Directive that allows deviation from the hierarchy if LCA indicates a better alternative. In many cases this could be incineration with energy recovery as opposed to recycling (eg lightweight laminate foils contaminated with food, yogurt pots ..etc). There is also too much emphasis on the role of Business and Local Authorities to reduce waste and conveniently avoids the fundamental issue of the need to reduce consumption. As pointed out already by the BRC, the document is very general lacks any real specific policies.

In terms of packaging, the Waste Review continues to perpetuate the myth that packaging waste is a major issue. Although this may be the public perception, the scientific facts do not support this: Packaging consumption has indeed decoupled from economic growth over a number of years now and even if all packaging were to be (disastrously) removed from the market, it would have very little effect on the overall environmental impact of waste (including carbon).  Sure it is important to use the minimum amount of packaging for purpose and to ensure that it can be recovered and there is legislation to ensure that this happens. So by all means let’s make sure Business continues to take its responsibilities seriously with this but the Government should also start being more honest with the public, stop pandering to their misconceptions about packaging and start to tackle the really big impacts.

Written by PEC Partnership - © 2011

July 3, 2011 at 8:37 pm

PEC Partnership

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The PEC Partnership provides market leading packaging expertise, with particular focus on ‘The Three Pillars of Sustainability’.

We offer advice and consultancy to clients through our team of three internationally experienced experts.

Each member of the group individually has extensive complimentary global experience of packaging as CSR / sustainability leader, technical manager or buyer in major companies in FMCG or packaging manufacture.

We have worked with many clients and provided advice and services including:

  • Conduct specialised research
  • Monitor emerging trends
  • Generate specialised analysis
  • Provide operational and strategic advice
  • Provide specialised training
  • Carry out packaging cost reduction
  • Provide expertise on recycling

We are proud of the achievements we’ve made working with clients and have written testimonials from them we’d be delighted to share with you.

Written by PEC Partnership - © 2011

June 30, 2011 at 10:44 am