A report examining some of the most common concerns about packaging has been published by the Governments Advisory Committee on Packaging (ACP).
It challenges some widely held beliefs such as bins are full of packaging and packaging is increasing with statistics that show packaging makes up less than 3% of all UK solid waste.
Packaging research organisation Incpen director Jane Bickerstaffe said: Packaging in perspective answers some of the frequently heard questions about packaging with clear, factual information. Unlike some of the things you may hear and read it is accurate.
The research identifies the challenges that the packaging industry still has to tackle but also highlights the achievement that 60% of all packaging is already recycled.
Over packaging, a contentious issue often raised in the national press, has been examined and for some foods justified. The research provides explanations of why certain foods, like bananas, should be packaged contrary to popular belief.
Bananas have their own packaging, their skins, so some people argue that they dont need further packaging. But the report says that large numbers of bananas over ripen and have to be thrown away. By wrapping the bananas in a modified atmosphere bag, waste is reduced by slowing the ripening process and protecting it from damage. Packaging benefits for grapes, cucumbers, salads and potatoes are also explained.