As the latest Courtauld agreement takes the focus off packaging, the number of new products making green packaging claims has rocketed, new data has revealed.

So far this year, a third of all new grocery lines have made explicit green packaging claims - related to weight, recyclability and materials - compared with 16% in 2009 and 28% in 2012 [Mintel Global New Product Database].

Recent examples include Nampak’s trial of a 20% lighter version of its Infini milk bottle, used by M&S, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s, and Unilever’s compressed aerosol cans for Sure, Dove and Vaseline Intensive deodorants.

The biggest growth area has been in recycling claims. “Having councils provide kerbside recyclables collection has massively driven consumer expectation of seeing recycling information on packs,” said Mintel packaging analyst Benjamin Punchard.

A lot of companies have also been making recycling claims on products that were already recyclable. Although there are now fewer opportunities to do so, Punchard said he expected recycling claims to continue to grow in prominence.

“Now that recycling has become the de facto environmental packaging solution, consumers are becoming frustrated with packs that are not recyclable,” he said.

Courtauld has also been instrumental in the proliferation of environmental claims. Waste agency Wrap listed Kenco coffee refill packs and Adnams lightweight bottles as examples of how Courtauld had made a difference.

Courtauld 3, launched last week, has taken the emphasis off packaging. Unlike Courtauld 2, which called for a 10% reduction in packaging materials between 2009 and 2012, 3’s target is for a freeze by 2015.