One big question that comes up when discussing sustainable packaging is whether consumers are willing to put up with changes to their familiar containers. One scenario in the United Kingdom is playing out now, and it turns out that at least some very vocal buyers aren't going along with it.
U.K.-based retailer Sainsbury's rolled out new packaging for its ground beef — or minced beef as it's called there — using vacuum packs that would use 55 percent less plastic than traditional trays with film covering.
It would, Sainsbury's said in a February news release, save 450 metric tons of plastic use each year.
But on social media and traditional news sites, consumers complained that the vacuum sealing changed the texture of the meat so it came out all in one clump so it was harder to break up and took longer to cook.
"I get that we need to use less plastic," shopper Vicki Cole told BBC Business. "But unless they find an alternative that's going to work, they're going to lose customers because I shan't be buying it from there."