On October 30, 2020, researchers from the University of Porto in Portugal published a study in the peer-reviewed British Food Journal investigating the consumption of packaged food by the Portuguese population. The information was gathered and evaluated from responses to the larger National Food, Nutrition, and Physical Activity Survey, which took place in the years 2015 to 2016 and surveyed 5,811 participants aged 3 months to 84 years old. The study reports that on average 1,530 g of packaged food were consumed per person per day, with plastic being the largest material type (69%) and the largest fraction of plastic packaging used for non-alcoholic beverages (38%). The other most common material types identified for food packaging include multilayer materials (14%), glass (9%), paperboard/paper (3.6%), and metal (3.3%).

The study provides detailed tables outlining the fraction of packaging material types used across a set of food groups, as well as across sociodemographic characteristics such as sex, age, and educational level. This new study offers an updated range of similar metrics to an earlier 2009 study on packaging consumption completed by the Portuguese Catholic University.


Costa, S. et al. (October 30, 2020). “Consumption of packaged foods by the Portuguese population: type of materials and its associated factors.” British Food Journal

Poças, M.F.F. et al. (August 18, 2009). “Characterization of patterns of food packaging usage in Portuguese homes.” Food Additives & Contaminants