Three in four (73%) shoppers in the UK say they would pay more for a product if the packaging had less impact on the environment, according to a new study by Perspectus Global on behalf of Pro Carton – the European association of carton and cartonboard manufacturers.
Interestingly, the survey found that younger Brits (aged 22-28) were most willing to spend more (88%) for the sake of the planet. Whereas those in the over-65 category, despite being one of the wealthiest age groups, were the least likely to pay more, although three in five (59%) would still spend extra for more eco-friendly packaging.
The survey of 1,023 adults in the UK suggested that the majority of consumers are now firmly eco-conscious despite the turbulent economic times and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Not surprisingly, coronavirus was ranked as the biggest issue facing the world today by 57% of consumers, with climate change (14%) and poverty (9%) the next most serious concerns. Interestingly half of British consumers thought that the pandemic had in fact made us more concerned about the environment.
When asked the best ways to combat climate change, a third (32%) of Brits said planting more trees, followed by recycling more (22%) and using more renewable materials (17%).
34% of UK respondents felt that retailers were not doing enough to introduce eco-friendly packaging. However, almost all European adults believe that governments (96%), as well as retailers and brands (96%), should be doing a bit or a lot more to help the environment.
Tony Hitchin, General Manager of Pro Carton, said: “We were delighted – and somewhat surprised – to see so many consumers willing to stay true to their environmental principles. Cartonboard was confirmed as the packaging material of choice with just 12% preferring plastic to cartons. The evidence could not be clearer. Consumers want brands and retailers to move to more sustainable packaging like cartonboard as the cost to them is less than the cost to the planet.
“Cartonboard’s inherent properties make it the perfect choice; it’s made from a renewable resource, it’s recyclable and biodegradable, plus European forests are growing by an area equivalent to 1,500 football pitches per day!”