In our 2020 Buying Green Report conducted by the Boston Consulting Group, we asked more than 15,000 U.S., Europe and South America consumers about their thoughts on sustainable packaging.
The survey revealed that 74% of consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable packaging. Key report findings also include a majority of consumers who identify as environmentally aware, with more than two out of three consumers citing environmentally friendly, recyclable packaging as important. And of the 74% who said they would pay more for sustainable packaging, nearly one-fourth are willing to pay for an increased cost of 10% or more.
This increased consumer awareness, driven by increased media coverage of the environmental impacts of pollution and large corporations transitioning away from plastics, whether it’s straws, grocery bags or plastic water bottles, truly underscores the findings. Consumers’ focus is on sustainable living now more than ever, and they’re willing to pay to protect the planet. This presents brands a real opportunity to impact purchasing decisions by offering environmentally friendly options for their consumers.
Report findings also show that nearly half of consumers actually shy away from harmful packaging. Of those consumers avoiding harmful packaging, 68% associate plastic with ocean pollution. According to research published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, more than 8 million pieces of land-based plastic waste enters the ocean.
With relatively low post-consumer recycling rates (single use), plastic continues to have an environmental impact. In recent years, research has shown that approximately 79% of plastic accumulates in landfills or the environment. The metal packaging industry, a steady supporter of federal and global policy for climate change, is well positioned to champion climate action, since metal packaging recycles forever  with high post-consumer recovery rates.
Along with the large number associating plastics with ocean pollution, the report shows that almost 60% of consumers say they are less likely to buy a product in harmful packaging. And of those consumers who associate plastic with being harmful, they cite it as being 80% more harmful than metal.
The research shows us the emphasis consumers have placed on evolving our packaging options to lessen our impact on the environment. There has never been a better time to back the compelling case for metal as a much more environmentally friendly and sustainable packaging alternative.