Consumers Demand That Governments, Brands And Retailers Do More To Ensure Packaging Is More Sustainable
The Trend Tracker Survey 2023, the latest consumer research from Two Sides Europe, seeks to understand changing consumer perceptions towards print and paper products, looking specifically at environmental awareness, reading habits, packaging preferences and attitudes towards tissue products.
Online Shopping – Good News For Paper Packaging
The shift to online shopping has accelerated dramatically in recent years. At the touch of a screen, consumers can search for a product, order and have it delivered to their door, sometimes on the same day. As consumers have come to appreciate the safety, speed and convenience of buying products online, they also are increasingly more concerned about how those products are packaged and delivered.
European consumers are demanding that retailers do more to ensure their packaging is widely recyclable, and 49% believe that paper-based packaging is easier to recycle than other materials. Recycling data reflects this belief: 82% of paper packaging is recycled, the highest recycling rate of any packaging material. Glass has a recycling rate of 76%, metal 76% and plastic just 38% (Eurostat, 2020).
71% of European consumers prefer products ordered online to be delivered in fitting packaging to reduce waste, up from 68% in 2021. 59% prefer products to be delivered in paper packaging, and perceive sustainable benefits of paper compared to other packaging materials, including glass, metal and plastic.
Consumers Demand Retailers Do More
Retailers play a crucial role in the innovation of product packaging and the use of recyclable, sustainable packaging materials. In response to increasing media and consumer pressure to perform and behave in a more sustainable way, retailers throughout Europe, particularly supermarkets, are improving and communicating their environmental credentials, commitments and achievements. Even so, less than half of those surveyed (46%) believe that retailers are doing enough to inform consumers of their commitments and achievements related to sustainability.
The survey revealed that consumers would be willing to act if they don’t think a retailer is doing enough to become more sustainable. 41% would consider avoiding a retailer that is not actively trying to reduce their use of non-recyclable packaging, and 55% would buy more from retailers who remove plastic from their packaging.
Because consumers are concerned about the impacts that packaging waste has on our planet, they increasingly expect that governments and brands, as well as retailers, do more to ensure packaging is widely recyclable. When consumers were asked to rank who they believe has the most responsibility for reducing the use of non-recyclable single-use packaging, 39% believe that governments and local authorities are the most responsible, followed by brands, retailers and supermarkets (22%), packaging manufactures (20%) and the individual (19%).
An executive summary of the Trend Tracker Survey 2023 was published in June and is available to industry stakeholders on request. Visit twosides.info/trend-tracker-2023 to register your interest in receiving this summary.
The complete European survey data broken down by country, age and gender is available to Two Sides members only or available to purchase.