Consumers are highly sensitive to the environmental implications of packaging formats. While the implications of product formulation have long been a focus of consumers, it is becoming clear that the packaging waste produced by everyday purchases also has a detrimental effect on the environment.
Brands can facilitate the consumer desire to support a more environmentally sustainable lifestyle by providing products that incorporate post-consumer recycled products, use of recyclable materials, or simply reducing the amount of packaging used. According to GlobalData’s 2016 Q3 global consumer survey, 65% of consumers globally always or mostly recycle product packaging and 53% always or mostly avoid excessively packaged grocery products. Publicity around plastics ending up in the ocean and the massive amounts of waste generated by households each year is likely to spur further attentiveness to packaging.
According to GlobalData’s 2017 Q1 global consumer survey, consumers currently consider packaging recyclability to be the most important factor when it comes to environmentally friendly packaging, but that view is likely to shift as awareness builds. While packaging recyclability is laudable, the recycling process requires additional energy. A more environmentally friendly packaging format might use recyclable materials while also reducing unnecessary packaging. Better again would be offering consumers reusable packaging.
As consumers seek comprehensively sustainable and environmentally friendly products, brands will have to draw their attention with increasingly sustainable packaging formats.