A new global study commissioned by chemicals company Kemira has found that 46% of US citizens are ready to pay more for renewable food packaging.

Around 85% of consumers in China also agreed to pay more, while 55% in Germany and 44% in Finland agreed.

The research noted that more than half of the respondents in the US believe there is a need for food brands to reduce plastic waste in packaging.

A third-party research partner of Kemira conducted the study in April 2019 with 4,000 respondents from the US, China, Germany and Finland. The study focused on consumers’ views on food packaging materials, food shopping and food waste.

The survey also identified that consumers are looking for hygiene and leak-proof properties when it comes to the features of food packaging.

Approximately 40% of the respondents in the US and China and 80% in Germany and Finland said they recycle their packaging, including cartons and cardboard.

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However, the study noted that plastic is much less frequently recycled outside the US.

Kemira product lines director Lee Sampson said: “Food packaging plays an often-overlooked role in the total environmental footprint of food items, affecting both product shelf life and waste recyclability.

“For example, with appropriate packaging food stays fresh longer, safely. We are actively following food packaging trends, as we are part of the value-chain for fibre-based packaging solutions.”

In addition, 58% in the US, 83% in Germany, 67% in Finland and 93% in China agreed that they were trying to reduce the number of plastics in their lives.

Sampson added: “It was interesting to see that 56% of the US respondents feel that the food brands have the main responsibility for reducing plastic waste associated with food packaging.

“This is something that the food brands are actively addressing, and one alternative is to use renewable and recyclable fibre-based packaging materials. However, it’s a complex matter as brands are often global but regulations are local.

“We hope to see the big, global challenges taken into consideration in local legislation, and expect some predictability into the regulatory future. Sustainable and renewable solutions require a consistent, long-term joint effort.”