A new study from Friends of the Earth Europe and Zero Waste Europe says annual use of plastic packaging per person has grown simultaneously with food waste since the 1950s – finding that we now use 30kg of plastic each a year in Europe, and waste 173kg of food.

“What this study shows,” said Julian Kirby, lead plastics campaigner at Friends of the Earth UK, “is that between 2004 and 2014 we’ve seen a 40 to 50 per cent increase in plastic packaging, and we’ve seen a doubling in food waste.

“What that really casts into quite serious doubt I think is the argument that the food packaging industry use quite often which is that we need plastic to avoid food waste.

“Too often the industry is using plastic packaging in order to market food, to encourage us to buy more than we even need.”