Consumer Protection Minister Steffi Lemke wants to combat hidden price increases in retail. “Deceptive packaging is a big nuisance. Consumers are being misled here,” said the Green politician to the “Handelsblatt”. “I would like to put a stop to that.” Accordingly, consistently large packaging with reduced contents should not be permitted in the future. The same applies if the contents remain the same and the packaging is enlarged.
“Such practices are problematic from both a consumer protection and waste avoidance perspective,” emphasized Lemke. Corresponding requirements should be made when amending the Packaging Act. According to the report, a bill is currently going through internal government departmental coordination.
The SPD consumer politician Carstenträger called the proposed change in the law a “necessary step for environmental and consumer protection”. The FDP consumer politician Katharina Willkomm, however, criticized the legal plans: “There is no need for a legal ban on shrinkage.” Consumers who feel fooled by the product should consistently change brands the next time they shop, she told the newspaper.
Consumer advocates have long criticized “deceptive packages” as consumer deception and rip-offs. Stiftung Warentest recently warned of “shrinkflation” - i.e. shrunken contents in barely noticeably changed packaging.