UK consumers say a firm 'no' to unsustainable packaging

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

UK consumers say a firm 'no' to unsustainable packaging
A new survey reveals that nine out of ten UK consumers say that they want to buy products that contain more sustainable packaging.

But the European Consumer Packaging Perceptions Survey also shows that those British people stated they also need need greater guidance on identifying the sustainability of product packaging.

Currently 36% of Brits are shunning buying products that they believe do not contain sustainable enough packaging, a figure that does not tally with the intention to buy products with more sustainable credentials.

Underlining this, the survey also showed that while  88% of UK shoppers requested on-pack information that highlights how environmentally-friendly the packaging format is.

Over 50s more on to it than younger consumers

Interestingly, the survey, which interviewed 7,000 shoppers in the UK, showed that it was the over 50s that were the most critical of brand owners and retailers for not being proactive enough about sustainable packaging. 

Eight out of ten consumers in this age category believed that greater measures should be employed to make packaging more sustainable, and 92% said they would chose a carton over plastic packaging.

But millennials are not on the same page as their older counterparts, with over half of the UK’s 19-29 year olds surveyed (53%) saying they have decided to switch brands in the last year because of a product’s packaging, with recyclability and overpackaging cited as the main reasons.

But few consumers oppose taxing packaging

In his recent Autumn Budget, British Chancellor Philip Hammond pledged a new ‘world-leading tax’ on UK produced or imported plastic packaging that doesn’t contain at least 30% recycled content.

The move is likely to chime well with a huge number of shoppers – only 20% of UK consumers survey did not think there should be a tax to force retailers and brands to adopt more sustainable packaging.

British shoppers still behind other European consumers

But despite the hunger for more knowledge on sustainable packaging, the survey also showed that British people are not as committed to sustainable packaging as their European counterparts.

The survey showed that while 68% say the environmental impact of a product’s packaging affects their purchasing decisions, shoppers in Spain (81%) and Germany (77%) are even more likely to be influenced by the packaging’s environmental credentials.

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