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  • Release: Consumers demand sustainable packaging



    Consumers demand sustainable packaging

    • Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) warns of reputational damage for brands that do not promote sustainable packaging.
    • 70% believe there will be a time when companies no longer use additional wrapping for products. 83% want plastic free and zero waste stores in their town.

    Consumers believe companies use too much packaging when delivering or selling products – with Amazon and eBay being named as some of the worst offenders.

    A study of 2,000 adults across the UK by the Chartered Institute of Marketing revealed 88 per cent think their shopping comes with more wrapping than is required, with children’s toys, mobile phones and cosmetics most likely to come in over-elaborate packaging.

    But it’s not just e-commerce shops which over-do it, as a sixth of consumers believe in-store food shopping uses up more plastic than is required.

    And eight in 10 consumers would like to see more done by large companies to promote sustainable packaging.

    Chris Daly, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Marketing, which commissioned the research, said:

    "Making greener purchasing decisions is a growing concern for consumers and increasingly a point of differentiation for brands.

    “The study shows how consumers don’t want or require the excess packaging which comes with products - both online and in store. With the conversation about sustainability evolving every day, marketers must recognise that packaging is an area that could make or break a consumer purchasing decision.

    “The fact that some respondents have even decided to not purchase from certain brands due to over-elaborate packaging shows a real shift in consumer behaviour.”

    The study highlights that brands, big and small, must be prepared to face judgement from their customers on packaging alone.

    Retailers face reputational damage:

    • Almost a third admitted they have been ‘put off’ ordering from the same company again due to the amount of paper or cardboard which came with it.
    • Similarly, 36 per cent judge a brand’s ethics on their packaging and a sixth have complained to a company because of this. A further four in 10 said the amount of excess packaging used often puts them off shopping online.

    On the flip side, more than a quarter of respondents would be willing to spend more on a product if they knew the boxes, paper and envelopes used were sustainable.

    Consumer habits are changing:

    • Those who make the conscious decision to be green are prepared to spend on average 20 per cent more.
    • Worryingly an eighth admitted to throwing away the excess wrapping which gets sent to them while 70 per cent recycle it and a tenth even reuse it to protect personal deliveries.
    • Over Christmas, while 87 per cent try and recycle what packaging they can, three in five do throw away unwanted packaging. It also emerged half the nation believe sustainable materials are used more now compared to 10 years ago and almost three in five said brands are using more ethical alternatives.

    A hopeful seven in 10 of those polled via OnePoll think there will be a time when companies no longer use additional wrapping for products.

    While four in five individuals take their own bags shopping to do their bit, 83 per cent would like to see more plastic free and zero waste stores in their town.

    Chris Daly added: “What we’re experiencing is a reputational tipping point for brands, where packaging and sustainability initiatives weigh heavy in the minds of the consumer. While it’s encouraging that the public broadly think brands are doing more now to tackle avoidable waste, the onus is on the marketing industry to take what consumers are telling us, and help organisations fully buy-in to sustainability led strategies.”

    - ENDS -

    Notes to editors:

    For further information please contact the Chartered Institute of Marketing press office at Good Relations on CIMTeam@goodrelations.co.uk


    About the survey

    Onepoll carried out the nationally representative survey of 2,000 adults during 21 November and 26 November 2019.


    About CIM

    The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) is the world’s leading professional body for marketing, with over 30,000 members worldwide, of which there are over 3,000 Chartered Marketers. CIM’s mission is to create marketing advantage for the benefit of professionals, business and society with a focus on export, data and skills. It believes marketing is the critical factor in driving long term organisational performance.

    CIM provides members and organisations with five key benefits: 

    • Partnership – CIM is a professional and organisational partner to support performance and career development
    • Education – CIM allows individuals and businesses to continuously upskill
    • Information – CIM keeps members up to date with the latest marketing thinking, and keeps organisations at the forefront of practices
    • Connection – CIM provides access to services, expertise and peers
    • Recognition – CIM is the global benchmark of professional competence

    For more than 100 years, CIM has supported, represented and developed marketers, teams, and leaders across the profession. There are 130 CIM study centres in 36 countries and exam centres in 132 countries worldwide. In the last year, over 7,500 people registered at over 230 CIM events. Find out more about CIM by visiting www.cim.co.uk.



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