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From disinfectant bottles to sauerkraut bags: What consumers look for in packaging

To mark the 6th Packaging Day on 4 June 2020, the German Packaging Institute (dvi) asked consumers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland what it is they look for in packaging. The outcome of this social media campaign under the hashtag #guteVerpackung (German for “good packaging”) was that there are many different aspects that define good and useful packaging for individual consumers –from hygiene through convenience to design. The importance of sustainability was particularly emphasized, and even in the age of the coronavirus this remains the dominant factor.

What do people look for in good packaging? To mark the 6th PackagingDay, consumers and businesses were invited to share their personal packaging favourites for a whole month on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram under the hashtag #guteVerpackung. The spectrum of packagings posted there ranged from hygiene dispensers through preserving jars, yoghurt pots, coffee capsules, fruit nets, flexible bags for sauerkraut, modified atmosphere packaging, reusable containers for meals to go and bottles or sachets for milk to folding cartons for soap, perfume, tea or decks of cards.Sustainability, hygiene, healthKim Cheng, Managing Director of the German Packaging Institute (dvi), which has organized the annual “Packaging Day” since 2015, is delighted that such a wide variety of good packaging was submitted. “We can’t do away with packaging altogether. Every one of us needs it daily in order to supply ourselves safely and hygienically with food and everyday products. Yet when supply continuity, health and sustainability are called for, packaging becomes more than just a compulsory requirement. It also seeks to impress as an optional extra, for instance wherever sensual pleasure and aesthetics as well as multiple use, handy aids or the joy of giving are involved.”One conclusive outcome of the #guteVerpackung campaign was that sustainability is among the top-ranking criteria in people’s understanding of good packaging. “Packaging has many different functions and it meets many different needs. It’s only logical that there should be many different aspects which define good packaging forindividual consumers. However, amidst this diversity, it’s also very clear that sustainability is eminently important –for consumers and businesses alike! The examples of good packaging which were submitted included solutions for returnable and multiple packaging as well as ways to reduce the amount of packaging and increase the use of renewable raw materials, the suitability for recycling and so on. For the German Packaging Institute, this is an unmistakeable sign that sustainability and recyclability are just as vital as ever in spite of corona and that they’ll continue to play a central role in the future”, said Cheng.The dvi has put together an exhibition of good packaging ideas on www.tag‐der‐