For the January consumer guide, the association examined the amount of product and the size of the packaging of 40 random products in the supermarket. Half of the packaging was more than half filled with air. With 10 products this was even 75% or more. The purpose of this trick is to make the customer believe that they are getting more for their money, the union says.
For example, the Sun boxes fit up to 80 dishwasher cubes. But there are only 22 in there. The boxes with dishwasher tablets from Albert Heijn and Klok are also full of air, according to Consumentenbond. Just like Lenor’s all-in-1 washing capsules (67% air), Lindor’s chocolate (83% air) and various breakfast cereals (50% air).
According to the consumer association, there is too much free space in boxes of breakfast cereals.
Ⓒ HH / ANP
Nivea also makes the coat with its Naturally Good Day Cream. The cream comes in a round jar packed in a square box that is twice the size. The jar has a double bottom, double walls and a lid half a centimeter thick. Overall, more plastic was used for the glass than is suitable for cream. All of these tricks ensure that the cube box is 84% filled with air and packaging material. “Not exactly good, of course,” says the union.
“Many of these companies make a good impression with sustainability claims, but do not live up to them at all,” says Director Sandra Molenaar. Take the Dutch Cosmetics Association. She published a sustainability plan in which she recognizes the environmental impact of packaging and expresses the ambition to use less packaging materials. That seems like an empty promise. The Central Food Trade Bureau (CBL) and its members, mostly supermarkets, also say they want to use 20% less packaging material by 2025. I don’t see any of this at the moment. Manufacturers are legally obliged to keep the weight and volume of the packaging to a minimum. “