Archive for June, 2013

Glass olive oil jugs are here to stay!

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We were very happy to hear that a European Union ban on the use of unmarked olive oil jugs on restaurant tables has been dropped following a public outcry across Europe.


Last month the EU proposed a requirement that olive oil “presented at a restaurant table” must be in factory packaged bottles with a tamper-proof “hygienic” nozzle and printed labelling in line with Brussels standards.


After numerous articles in the press and thousands of consumer complaints Dacian Ciolos, the European commissioner for agriculture, admitted that the proposed ban on traditional olive oil jugs, had provoked popular loathing, or “misunderstanding”, from the people that he said wanted to protect for their own good.


“It was a measure intended to help consumers, to protect and inform them but it is clear that it cannot attract consumer support,” he said.


“As a consequence, I am withdrawing the proposition. I wanted to come here today to demonstrate that I’ve been very alive to the current debate in the press”.


The small glass bottle filled and refilled with golden olive oil, has long been a staple on many restaurant tables across Europe and we very happy to know that they are here to stay!


Because of olive oil’s high mono-unsaturated fat content, it can be stored longer than most other oils. Oils are fragile and need to be treated gently to preserve their healthful properties. That’s why glass bottles make the best storage containers for it. Glass is not only is the best protector of flavour and freshness, but it’s also inert so it doesn’t interact with what it holds.


New plastic jars claim green award but we say environmental benefits are not so simple

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One of the UK’s leading annual packaging awards showcased some great new ideas this year. Known as the StarPack Awards, they celebrate the best in food and drink packaging design, including special awards for addressing environmental concerns.


Friends of Glass enthusiastically support progress on making packaging more environmentally friendly, but we were surprised at the judges’ comments for one of this year’s Highly Commended winners. The Green Star Environment & Sustainability Award featured a PET jar from the Simply M&S range, with its main green gain being reduction in weight. While we don’t question that less weight means lower carbon emissions, after all, most glass jars and bottles are now 40% lighter than ever before thanks to ‘lightweighting’ techniques, we do ask why no other factors were taken into consideration such as material extraction, processing and recyclability? By focussing on ticking one lower carbon emissions box, other significant ones are being ignored.


What’s more, industry research shows that glass can actually lower your carbon footprint compared to other packaging* and only 4-5% of any form of packaging’s carbon footprint comes from transportation.


It’s good to celebrate progress and the M&S jar is clearly innovative, but please let’s not claim it is the best solution for the environment. Glass not only best preserves the food and drink it contains, helping reduce food waste (which causes dangerous greenhouse gas emissions when sent to landfill) it is 100% recyclable and can be reused over and over again, thus reducing need for new packaging.


Simply M&S range ‘looks like glass’ but is it really better for the environment?




*O-I’s Life Cycle Assessment

Glass has nothing to hide

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New research by The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has sparked a debate about the safety of some everyday household items for pregnant women.  It says there is not enough information about the potential chemical risks to foetuses from cosmetics and food packaging.


While views differ on whether we should be concerned or not, one thing Friends of Glass knows for sure is the peace of mind offered by glass packaging. People concerned about their health often prefer to buy things packaged in glass. Here are 3 reasons why:


    1. Glass is inert so it doesn’t need additional layers to protect the food and drink it contains.
    2. This also means glass packing keeps food and drink fresher for longer, helping us enjoy food at its best and reducing food waste.
    3. It’s safe to use glass over and over again in your home.  It can be safely sterilised, put in the dishwasher and microwave.


Perhaps this is why it’s no surprise that glass baby feeding bottles are making a comeback. Friends of Glass is very happy to see that French group SGD, a world leader in glass bottle manufacturing for the perfume, cosmetics and pharmacy industries, is re-introducing glass feeding bottles in France in response to demand.



We say bonnes nouvelles to that!