A recent study commissioned by EasyFairs, organisers of the Packaging & Print Portfolio 2013, found that 58 percent of packaging manufacturers believe that environmental issues have become so mainstream, that consumers now automatically assume the packaging they receive, be it a carrier bag, a sandwich wrapper, or plastic bottle, is environmentally friendly.
The study, carried out on 500 of the UK’s leading branding, packaging and marketing managers, found that consumers are so likely to expect the issue of environmental packaging to have been addressed at the source, that just 3% of those taking part believed a consumer’s buying behaviour is significantly influenced by sustainable and environmentally friendly packaging.
Just under half (45%) of those questioned said the retailer should be taking the lead in environmentally friendly packaging, and a further 19% believe it is the manufacturer’s responsibility to ‘green up’ the supply chain, but when it comes to packaging recycling, there is a shift in responsibility. Twenty-eight percent agree that the onus of packaging waste and recycling should lie with the local council, 23% believe it lies with the consumer, and just 14% feel that retailers should be responsible.
With the Governments new packaging recycling targets 2013 – 2017 set to become law in January, sustainability remains a hot topic for packaging professionals, manufacturers and retailers, so much so, that there will be a BIG Packaging Debate at the February 2013 PACKAGING INNOVATIONS event at the NEC , dedicated to the topic of “consumers don’t by sustainable packaging”.
Managing Director for EasyFairs UK, Matt Benyon said, “We hope the debate will shed some light on consumers’ perception of how their goods are packaged and how their buying behaviour is influenced by environmental concerns. If the majority of packaging professionals are dubious whether sustainable packaging actually sells, as consumers are more concerned about price or the product they are buying rather than the packaging, then what should they be focusing on and how can they communicate better to consumers about their initiatives to reduce their environmental impact?”
With Bags for Life, biodegradable carrier bags, recyclable boxes, and compostable packaging available to us all, can we really blame manufacturers for the amount of ‘un-environmentally friendly’ packaging cluttering up the country? The jury is out… until February at least.