Sustainable packaging is key for consumers, report finds

Some 69 per cent of consumers do not always trust brands and retailers that claim to be sustainable

How a product is packaged can influence a consumer’s buying decisions, a new survey has found, with an increasing number of people looking for more sustainable options.

How a product is packaged can influence a consumer’s buying decisions, a new survey has found, with an increasing number of people looking for more sustainable options.

 

How a product is packaged can influence a consumer’s buying decisions, a new survey has found, with an increasing number of people looking for more sustainable options.

According to a report from business publication Drapers, in partnership with packaging company Smurfit Kappa, almost two thirds of consumers in the UK are more likely to buy from retailers with sustainable packaging, and half are willing to pay more for it. A third said unsustainable packaging had led them to reject a purchase.

The Drapers’ Sustainability and the Consumer 2021 report found 77 per cent of fashion consumers want as little packaging as possible, with two thirds want packaging that can be recycled. Some 73 per cent said the use of paper or cardboard packaging is important to them.

“Packaging is a visible and tangible signal of a brand’s commitment to sustainability. The report highlights how sustainable packaging is increasingly becoming a significant decision driver for consumers purchasing fashion and an indication of a brand’s sustainable status. It also underscores the importance for businesses to understand the opportunities in moving to sustainable packaging, the ramifications of inaction for reputation, and the role that sustainable packaging can play in reaching sustainability targets,” said Eddie Fellows, chief executive of Smurfit Kappa UK and Ireland.

Retailers

“There is often a misunderstanding amongst retailers that switching to a greener supply chain will incur significant investment. We work closely with our customers to help them understand the longer-term cost benefit of optimising and greening their packaging supply chain.”

Consumers also believe retailers should be leading the way rather than government , with 43 per cent saying it should be brands that improve performance on sustainability compared to 27 per cent who believe it should be down to governments.

There is a large obstacle to overcome, however. Some 69 per cent of consumers do not always trust brands and retailers that claim to be sustainable, with just over a third saying the believed brands were doing enough.

“Sustainability is one of the challenges of our time. Packaging provides a clear opportunity for brands and retailers to demonstrate their sustainability, and with the continued growth of ecommerce, fit-for-purpose sustainable packaging is an even more integral part of the brand experience,” said Tony Smurfit, group CEO of Smurfit Kappa.