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Less Packaging, Please

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"Too much packaging" has become a battle cry of environmentalists who see the modern supermarket as a menace to the planet. Consumers are happy to pay lip service to this concern, as they do on so many other environmental matters. But would they be willing to dispense with some of the packaging that encases the foods they buy? It depends on what the packaging does, finds a global survey by The Nielsen Co. (Adweek's parent company). Nearly half the global respondents would be willing to forgo packaging designed for "easy stacking/storing at home" (49 percent) or "easy transport" (47 percent). Fewer would give up packaging made "to keep products clean and untouched by others" (27 percent), "keep products in good condition" (30 percent) or "make them last longer/stay fresher" (34 percent). North Americans and Europeans were the most reluctant to forego hygienic/protective packaging.