Between the producers and the markets where we buy our food there is a long chain of stakeholders. The company Pàmpols Packaging Integral is a family business that has been in charge of packaging since 1985. Francesc Pàmpols, director of the company, tells us that Market trends have changed a lot in the last 5 years, and now “they are very focused on sustainability issues”.
Plastic containers continue to be one of the most important in the world of packaging, “they represent 80 or 90% of packaging, especially for food”. Even if in recent years there has been a trend of “supposedly sustainable” packagingFrancis confesses. He also tells us that customers have the feeling that paper and cardboard pollute less, “but paper containers are bulkier than plastic ones, which makes transportation worse”.
When we go to the supermarket, we are surprised to see that most of the products are wrapped in plastic. This is not done to protect the food, as Francesc indicates, it is due to “the sales units”. “Even if the supplier is interested in selling 6 apples instead of one, that makes them pack them and have to wrap them in some way”.
Changes in society affect, since “There are more single-parent families, this means that food producers have to adapt to these realities, and sometimes it reaches the absurdity of packaging two apples, so the packaging is more expensive than the product it contains”. A tray of fruit, for example, “can be worth 20 or 30 cents, but then there is a plastic coating that is often made by automatic machines that cost 50 or 100,000 euros.” “The cardboard ones are two or three times more expensive than the plastic one”Francesc adds.
In recent months there have been supply problems with paper, almost all the raw materials with which they work “are shot”, which means that prices have skyrocketed. One of the most important parts of the packaging is that the product has “a good appearance and is attractive to the market”, something that helps having some “innocent” customers who, according to Francesc, “do not have to know about packaging”.