Tetra Pak: Sustainable packaging demand on the rise

By Jenni Spinner

- Last updated on GMT

A Tetra Pak survey indicates customers increasingly are seeking out sustainable packaging.
A Tetra Pak survey indicates customers increasingly are seeking out sustainable packaging.

Related tags Consumers Tetra pak Environment Environmentally friendly

A recent survey by Tetra Pak indicates that consumers are increasingly on the lookout for sustainably packaged products.

The company’s 5th biannual environment survey shows that consumers are more interested in eco-friendly packaging than ever before. Further, awareness and interest in recycling is increasing among both consumers and food industry professionals.

Improving attitudes

In this most recent survey, food industry stakeholders show an increased acceptance toward the use of renewable materials. Respondents listed the use of bio-based materials as one of the highest among environmental trends shaping the future of beverage packaging.

Additionally, a higher number of consumers than before rate cartons as the most environmentally friendly packaging type, thanks to cartons’ use of paper. More than half of consumers believe that bio-based plastic improves a carton’s environmental performance.

Good news on sustainability

Simone Pisani, director of Environment Support Marketing and Product Management for Tetra Pak Packaging Solutions S.p.A. told FoodProductionDaily.com that increasingly favourable attitude toward cartons is good news for producers.

Influencers are more and more positive towards renewability (and certified raw materials), which is a plus for cartons​,” she said.

Consumers also are more frequently clamoring for more environmental information. When choosing products, 37% of respondents indicated they look for environmental logos on food packaging.

Global scale

The survey covered countries all over the globe. Pisani indicated that consumer behavior and attitudes toward sustainable packaging and materials varies from country to country.

Percentages of consumers who state to have purchased a product with environmentally sound packaging are higher, among developing countries in China, India, Turkey than among mature markets, such as Germany, USA and UK​,” she said.

More consumers trust environmental messages and claims than before—54% of consumers trust eco labels, up from 37% in 2011. What’s more, 20% of surveyed consumers recognize the Forest Stewardship Council logo and associate it with sustainability.

Recycling priority

The Tetra Pak survey also indicated recyclability is more crucial than in the past. Also, the ability to recycle a package is a top concern among industry members, considered at the product development stage.

While recyclability is the best understood eco benefit of a food product’s packaging, consumers also are showing the greatest increase in interest when it comes to learning more about renewable resources. Thought leaders are keen on reducing packaging weight and

Lightweighting perception

There is also a growing interest from opinion leaders in the U.S. around reduction of weight in packaging, as well as bio-based plastic use while consumers show appreciation for certified raw materials.

This year’s Environmental Research survey polled more than 7,000 consumers and more than 200 food industry stakeholders in 13 countries, including the US, the UK, France China and others. The company’s research partner is Firefly Millward Brown.

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