Consumers demand renewable packaging, research shows

Tetra Pak Marketing Pty Ltd
Wednesday, 18 September, 2013

Consumers are increasingly demanding renewable materials and environmental labelling, new research from Tetra Pak indicates. Recycling also remains a fundamental expectation of both consumers and food industry stakeholders, the company’s 5th biannual environment survey shows.

This year’s survey sees a significant rise in the attitude towards renewable materials among food industry stakeholders, driven by the recent development of new technologies. They rank the use of bio-based materials as one of the most important environmental trends shaping the future of beverage packaging.

Meanwhile, consumers continue to rate carton the most “environmentally friendly” packaging type, due to the use of paper as a renewable material, and more than 50% of them believe that the use of bio-based plastic will further improve the environmental performance of carton packaging.

The report also identifies a growing consumer demand for more environmental information. In order to make informed choices, 37% of consumers regularly search for environmental logos on food packaging. Today, 54% of consumers trust environmental labels, compared with 37% in 2011. One in five consumers in the survey recognise the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) logo, with most able to associate it with sustainable forestry.

Sorting and setting aside packaging for recycling remains the number one environmental activity among consumers, as it has been since 2005. Meanwhile, the ability to recycle packaging material is regarded as a top priority among food industry stakeholders when developing a product or a service.

“The findings of this year’s report reinforce the importance of putting environment at the heart of our strategic agenda,” said Tetra Pak President and CEO Dennis Jönsson. “We have set firm commitments to reduce our environmental footprint across the value chain, to develop sustainable products and to increase recycling rates; and we are making good progress towards the goals that we have set for ourselves in each of these important areas.”

The survey has been conducted every two years since 2005. The 2013 Environmental Research polled over 7000 consumers and more than 200 food industry stakeholders in a total of 13 countries, including the US, Brazil, UK, France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, South Africa, Turkey, India, Russia, China and Japan. The survey was conducted in partnership with Firefly Millward Brown.

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