Many consumers have the experience of paying high prices for products with exquisite packaging, and unpacking the "three layers inside and three layers outside" packaging, the products themselves have little value.

Some people think that over-packaging is the modern "buy the casket for the pearl".

Previously, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology revised the mandatory national standard "Restriction of Excessive Packaging Requirements for Food and Cosmetics" to further standardize the packaging requirements for food and cosmetics.

What are the hazards of overpackaging?

How to limit overpackaging?

Our reporters answer for you.

  harm consumer rights

  Xiao Wang, who lives in Beijing, is a "beauty expert". She likes to buy perfume from the Internet. She recently received a perfume gift box from a certain brand.

When I opened the shoebox-sized express box, I saw a paper handbag. I took out the cardboard box from the paper bag and opened it. Inside was a dustproof cloth bag of the same size. The cloth bag was wrapped with several small three-finger wide paper boxes. , tear off the plastic film, open the carton, only to see the perfume itself.

"The outer packaging of most beauty products is the same as this perfume box, with three layers inside and three layers outside." Xiao Wang said.

  Coincidentally.

In 2020, the Shanghai Municipal Market Supervision Bureau found that 12 batches of 50 batches of commodities were suspected of excessive packaging, and the unqualified rate of cosmetic packaging was as high as 70%.

  Xiao Liu from Suzhou, Jiangsu, has the habit of eating Qingtuan every spring. During the purchasing process, Xiao Liu was dazzled by all kinds of "Qingtuan gift boxes".

"There are many 'Qingtuan gift boxes' that are much more expensive than the bulk greens, but the taste is average. It is time-consuming and laborious to screen." Xiao Liu said.

  "The cosmetics and food industries are the 'hardest hit areas' due to excessive packaging," said Liu Jianguo, a professor at the School of Environment, Tsinghua University, in an interview with this reporter.

Food consumption is closely related to people's lives. The large consumption and the need for separate packaging give merchants an opportunity to over-package.

Cosmetics can increase added value through multi-layer packaging, meet the needs of some consumers, stimulate sales and increase profits.

The reporter found on the "Little Red Book" platform that many netizens commented on some beautifully packaged cosmetics as "intentional and delicate" and "full of ritual".

  Merchants increase profits through excessive packaging, and some consumers buy over-packaged products to gain a "ceremonial sense". It seems that "one is willing to fight, the other is willing to suffer", but it is the rights and interests of consumers that are harmed.

  On the one hand, the "ceremonial sense" brought about by excessive packaging must be paid by consumers.

Cao Mingde, a professor at the School of Civil, Commercial and Economic Law of China University of Political Science and Law, and vice president of the China Law Society's Environmental Resources Law Research Association, told this reporter that for most consumers, the packaging box is thrown away after opening, and only the product has use value.

But in practice, the cost of packaging is included in the price of the product and ultimately passed on to the consumer.

The more bloated the product packaging, the more money consumers will spend, but the more use value they will get.

  On the other hand, consumers tend to buy what they have when they buy goods. If all merchants aim to increase profits, the trend of over-packaging will intensify. Over time, only over-packed products will be seen on the shelves. Can only be forced to accept and pay for excessive packaging.

"Therefore, it is urgent to regulate excessive packaging on the supply side." Cao Mingde said.

  "We need a quantifiable standard to constrain merchants and require merchants to provide green packaging at the front end, so that regulators can judge and punish excessive packaging with evidence." Liu Jianguo said.

  provide clear standards

  In order to further standardize the packaging requirements of food and cosmetics, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology organized and completed the No. 1 Amendment to the Mandatory National Standard (hereinafter referred to as the "Standard") of "Restriction of Excessive Packaging Requirements for Food and Cosmetics" (the second draft for comments) preparation work.

From April 18th to 22nd, the second draft of the revision order and the preparation instructions were publicized on the website of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology to listen to opinions from all walks of life.

According to the draft for comments, the implementation date of the provisions applicable to moon cakes and rice dumplings in the revision list and standard is August 15 this year.

  The revised "Standard" will make stricter regulations on the packaging requirements of moon cakes and rice dumplings, the necessary space factor of the goods, the number of packaging layers, and the mixing situation, aiming to further limit excessive packaging.

  In terms of the number of packaging layers, the "Standard" adjusts the number of packaging layers for moon cakes and rice dumplings from "no more than four layers" to "no more than three layers".

At the same time, the "Standard" clarifies that the cost of all packaging, except the packaging directly in contact with the contents, shall not exceed 20% of the product's sales price; for mooncakes and rice dumplings with a sales price of more than 100 yuan, the packaging cost shall not exceed the product's sales price. 15%; the packaging of moon cakes and rice dumplings should not use precious materials such as precious metals and mahogany.

The "Standard" also prohibits the mixing of moon cakes with other products, and the mixing of rice dumplings with products exceeding their value.

  The "Standard" stipulates that the volume of the contents of food or cosmetics is expressed by multiplying the net content by the necessary space factor, and the value of the necessary space factor depends on the product.

How to use the necessary space factor to calculate?

Taking alcoholic products as an example, the necessary space factor of wine is 13, and the allowable packaging void ratio of a 500-ml bottle of liquor is not more than 30%. It can be calculated that the maximum allowable volume of the outer packaging of this bottle of liquor is 9285.7 cubic centimeters.

Assuming that the length, width and height of the outer packaging of this bottle of wine are 20 cm, 15 cm and 30 cm respectively, the actual outer packaging volume is 9000 cubic cm, which is less than the maximum allowable value and meets the standard requirements.

  When buying food and cosmetics products, how can consumers tell if the products are over-packaged?

  According to Wei Hong, deputy director of the Department of Standards and Technology of the State Administration for Market Regulation, consumers can simply judge whether moon cakes and other products are excessively packaged through "one look, two questions, and three calculations".

One is to see whether the outer packaging of the product is luxury packaging, and whether the packaging materials are expensive materials.

Second, the standard strictly defines the requirements for the number of packaging layers. If the packaging cannot be opened, it is necessary to ask how many layers the packaging has and whether the number of layers meets the requirements.

The third is to measure or estimate the volume of the outer packaging, and compare it with the maximum allowable outer packaging volume to see if it exceeds the standard.

  "Excessive packaging is very harmful to the environment, and the introduction of the standard is at the right time." Cao Mingde said that the packaging materials are mainly paper, plastic, etc. In the production process, not only wood and other resources are consumed, but also related pollutants are discharged. During the transportation process Also produces carbon emissions, all of which could have been avoided.

  The environmental impact of packaging waste cannot be underestimated.

Research shows that my country's packaging waste accounts for about 30% to 40% of urban domestic waste, and many of these packaging wastes are generated by excessive packaging.

"When packaging waste enters the garbage collection and treatment system, it will occupy related resources. If it enters the landfill plant, it will occupy land resources, and if it enters the incineration plant, it will pollute the air." Liu Jianguo said.

  If packaging waste does not enter the waste disposal system, the harm to the environment will be even greater.

In some rural areas, waste disposal systems are not yet fully covered.

"In particular, some plastic waste will be converted into microplastics, which will cause incalculable damage to the water ecosystem and human health in the long run." Liu Jianguo said.

  Take multiple measures to limit the general rule

  In recent years, various departments have successively formulated and issued national standards such as the General Principles of Restricting Excessive Packaging of Commodities and the Evaluation Methods and Guidelines for Green Packaging, but the implementation of relevant standards faces resistance.

Excessive packaging is harmful, why is it repeated?

  "Most of the regulations issued before are principled, encouraging and oriented, lacking specific legal provisions, no clear penalties, and insufficient restrictions on businesses." Liu Jianguo said, "On the other hand, food, cosmetics and other commodities The sales volume is large, and it is difficult to supervise all aspects. And the problem of excessive packaging involves many aspects such as manufacturers and sellers. It is difficult to manage, and there are many obstacles in supervision, which objectively increases the difficulty of restricting excessive packaging.”

  Some enterprises also have the problem of underestimating the packaging process and inadvertently "packaging too much".

"In order to deal with the bumps and damages that may be encountered in all aspects of warehousing, transportation and sales, it is necessary for merchants to provide protective packaging for goods." Sun Junjun, general manager of Zhejiang Dashengda Packaging Co., Ltd., introduced that there are currently more than 430,000 in China. There are more than 8,800 companies in the packaging industry. Some small packaging companies have weak control over packaging, which may easily lead to excessive packaging in order to improve the safety factor.

  "At present, China has not yet formed a unified concept of green consumption." Liu Jianguo said, "Some people advocate luxury consumption and like to buy products with luxurious packaging, which objectively provides soil for the occurrence of excessive packaging."

  Cao Mingde believes that in order to limit excessive packaging, in addition to food and cosmetics, other key industries need to be targeted.

Last year, the "Measures for the Management of Mail and Express Packages" was officially implemented, which clarified the requirements for packaging selection, including the establishment and implementation of a packaging management system, the use of environmentally friendly materials, and packaging reduction measures. , the packaging is recycled and reused.

  Is there a need to enact laws to tighten restrictions?

"The legislative process takes a long time. Due to the flexibility and advocacy of policies, the policy-first approach is effective." Cao Mingde said, "In the long run, it is necessary to combine effective and successful policy experience to formulate relevant policies. Administrative regulations regulate excessive packaging. After the regulations are implemented, they will be improved in combination with practical effects, and finally become laws. This is a gradual process, we will wait and see.”

  Liu Jianguo said that in the future, only relevant laws and regulations will not be enough, but also need relevant implementation rules, implementation methods, supporting policies, etc., and take multiple measures to enhance the effect of legislation and promote the implementation of laws.

  "To create an atmosphere of green consumption in the society, to form a social fashion of low-carbon consumption, to be proud of protecting the environment, and to be ashamed of polluting the environment, can further solve the problem of excessive packaging, which requires the joint efforts of the whole society." Cao Mingde said.

  Our reporter Zhao Hao

The China Consumers Association and other units jointly proposed:

Oppose excessive packaging of commodities and practice the concept of simplicity and moderation (extended reading)

  Beijing News (Reporter Qi Zhiming) To establish a civilized, healthy, resource-saving and environmentally friendly consumption pattern, oppose waste, and actively resist excessive packaging and other behaviors. It not only requires consumers to establish a simple, moderate, green and low-carbon life concept, but also needs to Operators exert their efforts on the supply side to provide the society with goods and services that are conducive to the comprehensive conservation, intensive and recycling of resources.

  In order to implement the "Consumer Rights Protection Law", "Solid Waste Environmental Pollution Prevention and Control Law", "Circular Economy Promotion Law", "Cleaner Production Promotion Law" and other laws on "anti-waste" and "avoid excessive packaging" regulations, a few days ago, Chinese consumers The association unites with China Federation of Industrial Economics, China National Light Industry Federation, China Chamber of Commerce, China Packaging Federation, China Chain Store & Franchise Association, China Fragrance Cosmetics Industry Association, China Express Association, China Quality Association, China Electronics Chamber of Commerce, China Food Industry 14 major industry associations, including the Association, China Bakery and Sugar Products Industry Association, China Alcoholic Drinks Association, China Paper Association, China Cleaning Products Industry Association, etc., jointly issued to the majority of operators and consumers "Oppose excessive packaging of commodities and practice the concept of simplicity and moderation." ” initiative, advocates operators to actively fulfill their social responsibilities, and provide the market with higher-quality, greener, greener and lower-carbon products; advocates consumers to establish a scientific and rational consumption concept when consuming personal and family, and try to purchase and select resources For economizing products, when encountering wasteful behaviors such as excessive packaging, take the initiative to complain and report.

expert's point

  Packaging has several basic functions such as accommodating products, protecting products, labeling information, and promoting.

One-sided emphasis on promotional functions may lead to excessive packaging.

The packaging specifications of different products are different, but generally speaking, 10% of the price of the product is used as packaging to achieve the basic function of packaging; however, some merchants intend to use exquisite packaging to enhance the added value of the product and increase the "gold content", or Distinguishing products by packaging and creating differences goes far beyond the basic function of packaging, and there is even the possibility of suspected fraud.

  ——Han Xueshan, Vice President of China Packaging Federation

  Commodity packaging manufacturers should actively develop new packaging materials that are conducive to resource conservation and easy recycling, and actively promote new technologies, new designs, and new processes that meet the requirements of energy conservation and environmental protection.

Accelerate the green transformation of express packaging, build a recyclable system for express packaging, promote recyclable packaging products, encourage e-commerce platforms to select some types of commodities, set up a special area for recyclable packaging commodities, implement unified coding and standardization of recyclable express packaging, and establish a sound The operation and management system of upstream and downstream connection and mutual recognition between platforms can effectively reduce operating costs.

In addition, explore the establishment of an intelligent full-scene recycling model in the community, establish a long-term mechanism for the recycling and utilization of express materials, improve the recycling and reuse efficiency of recyclable resources, create an atmosphere for national garbage classification, and combine curbing excessive packaging with classified recycling and reuse. , to achieve the dual role of energy saving and environmental protection and resource recycling.

  ——Wu Lieshan, professor at the School of Resources, Environment and Materials, Guangxi University

  Excessive packaging will not only generate a lot of waste, but also over-raise some products that are not of high value, forming a bad market orientation.

The newly revised mandatory national standard of "Restricting Excessive Packaging of Commodities for Food and Cosmetics" is an opportunity, which can stimulate more companies to no longer over-package, but to use more ingenious ideas to carry more culturally appropriate packaging into appropriate packaging. and appreciate the functionality of the product.

  ——Pu Zhengning, Associate Professor, School of Economics and Management, Southeast University

  At present, only a small amount of corrugated cardboard, cans, glass bottles, etc. are recyclable for product packaging materials, and a large amount of packaging waste needs to be disposed of through landfill and incineration.

Take packaging plastic bags as an example. Most of them are made of high-pressure polyethylene materials. The toxic gas generated during incineration will cause air pollution and affect human health.

The difference between the design and experience of product packaging lies in the aesthetic design, not in the complexity of the packaging.

When choosing packaging materials, merchants should practice the concept of green environmental protection, and try to use recyclable and degradable materials; product packaging can be analyzed through big data, and the minimum packaging materials can be used to achieve effective mechanical support for products, thereby reducing Packaging usage; research and development of new packaging materials, use of new technologies to further reduce logistics packaging costs, and form a new fashion of simplicity.

  ——Lai Yang, Executive Vice President of Beijing Business Economics Association

  (Organized by our reporter Peng Xunwen)

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