There’s a good article on overpackaging in Britain in the magazine of the Guardian: The Observer | Magazine | One family, one month, 50kg of packaging. Why?.
‘Morrisons coconuts are shrink-wrapped to ensure that they reach the customer in the very best condition. The packaging helps to keep the product fresh, limit damage from breakages, stop coconut hairs getting into other foodstuffs during transport and allows an information label to be attached.’ While coconut hair has never been one of my top 10 worries, this is probably enough for the supermarket to justify its shrink-wrap decision on the grounds that the consumer demands it. Crediting dodgy packaging to the consumer’s wants and needs is difficult to refute and explains why, despite an EU law which forbids overpackaging, experts can only cite three examples of prosecutions in the UK in the past decade.