Public Willing to Pay More for Sustainable Packaging

May 22, 2020
Public Willing to Pay More for Sustainable Packaging

Quick summary:

  • Study finds 74% of consumers would pay more for sustainable packaging
  • 59% say they are less likely to buy a product in “harmful” packaging, with 57% considering plastic “harmful”
  • In Europe, only 6% consider plastic to be “eco-friendly”

Nearly three quarters of consumers would be willing to pay more for sustainable packaging, a new study by Trivium Packaging and the Boston Consulting Group has found.

Conducted among 15,000 participants across the US, Europe, and South America, the research sought to gauge consumer attitudes towards environmentally friendly packaging. Participants were specifically asked about food and drink packaging, as well as that for personal care, beauty, and home care products.

It found that two thirds (67%) of consumers identify as environmentally aware, with over half (53%) stating that they actively look for information regarding sustainability and recycling on product packaging.

Significantly, 74% said that they would be willing to pay more for sustainable packaging, with 25% reporting that they would pay as much as 10% more per product.

“Harmful” plastic

Nearly half (47%) of respondents across the three continents stated that they do not buy products in packaging “harmful” to the environment. A total of 59% said that they would be less likely to buy a product in harmful packaging.

But, the study found that plastic was the material most commonly associated with the term “harmful”. 57% of participants identified plastic with “harmful” packaging, and 65% now associate plastic with the pollution of the oceans. Only 6% associated plastic with the term “eco-friendly”.

“This increased consumer awareness, driven by increased media coverage of the environmental impacts of pollution and large corporations transitioning away from plastics, whether it’s straws, grocery bags or plastic water bottles, truly underscores our findings,” Michael Mapes, the CEO of Trivium Packaging, commented on the research.

Recently, states and trade blocs have committed to bans on single-use plastics, whilst studies have shown that up to 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean every year.

“With relatively low post-consumer recycling rates (single use), plastic continues to have an environmental impact. In recent years, research has shown that approximately 79 percent of plastic accumulates in landfills or the environment,” said Jenny Wassenaar, Vice President of Sustainability at Trivium.

The results of this survey come as the highest concentrations of marine microplastics ever seen have been discovered in the Mediterranean, highlighting concerns that plastic pollution may be worse than previously believed. 

Photo by Boxed Water Is Better on Unsplash