|PTR Finland completes work on SUSPACK project|
The EU’s SusPack project, funded by the Erasmus+ program, completed its final online event at the end of November, with Finland’s Packaging Testing & Research (PTR) one of three organizations taking part.
The project’s aims included demonstrating how consumer attitudes towards packaging for food in general, and takeaway items in particular, could be improved to promote sustainable consumption habits. Alongside PTR, two associations were involved: Finland’s MARTHA, which specializes in home economics, and Italy’s Association for the Defense and Orientation of the Consumer (ADOC).
A group of 20 consumers, 10 each in Finland and Italy, were involved in the project, which centred on the themes of knowledge transfer and the exchange of ideas.
In her final presentation, PTR’s Virpi Korhonen examined the concept of ‘sustainability labels’, arguing that concepts such as ‘renewability’ and ‘recyclability’ might be difficult to communicate on-pack. “A carbon footprint calculation that considers the prospective lifecycle of the packaging and the shelf-life of the product could be more understandable to support decision-making,” she said.
Pre- and post-project surveys of consumers involved in the training sessions highlighted some interesting national differences. In the pre-survey, both nationalities emphasized recyclability as an attribute of sustainable packaging. But more Finns focused on renewable raw materials, while more Italians stressed biodegradability and compostability.
In the post-survey, the Finns showed an increased awareness of carbon footprint and, for example, the ability to dispense all of the food without wasting it. Carbon footprint gained most as a priority among Italians.