With hybrid packaging I refer to the combined packaging of plastic and paper. They are often offered by supermarkets for consumers to put inside fresh bread and buns. The reasons I can imagine for using these hybrids:

  • Visibility at the cashier allowing the cashier to quickly screen the containing products;
  • Convenience for the consumer allowing him to easily see what he has bought without having to open the packaging, e.g when arriving home;

However, these advantages come with a huge downside. For the consumer hybrid packaging poses an extra burden for waste separation. It requires him to cut the plastic from the paper. I assume that in practice not many consumers follow this behaviour accordingly.

  • 2
    It also lowers the amount of plastic needet. Even if the final amount of waste is higher. ( Numbers may not be correct ). Lets assume we make a yoghurt pot. We can not make the pot very thin, due it will break easy. But if we wrap the pot with carton, it wont break. We might be able to reduce plastic by 30% by adding 70% (of weight) carton.
    – jawo
    Jun 29, 2015 at 11:53
  • Valid point but the problem of breakage does not apply to bread packaging.
    – orschiro
    Jun 29, 2015 at 15:54
  • 3
    Dont underestimate how essential product presentation is. If you ever bought a flaggship smartphone like an iphone oder samsung s-series, you'd notice that about 80% of package is useless and only good for presentation.
    – jawo
    Jun 29, 2015 at 16:53
  • @Sempie I think your comment would qualify as an answer...
    – LShaver
    Jan 3, 2017 at 21:02

1 Answer 1


More reasons:

The plastic makes it possible to see the bread. Shelf appeal.

The paper allows them to be bagged warm. This gives a fresh bread smell around the shelf, and it feels warm in the customer's hand.

Bag only: People have took in the bag to see it. Plastic only: Bread can't be bagged warm.

A third option is to put naked loaves on display, and let people bag them themselves. This has the downside that they go stale very quickly, and you don't know if the last person to touch that loaf washed his hands...

One of our stores locally is going to an all plastic bag that has tiny slits everywhere. This gives it enough breathability to bag warm, visibility for shelf appeal, and some resistance against dirty fingers.

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