Tetra Pak survey shows demand for renewable materials, environmental labeling
Separate-and-sort recycling remains most popular in mature markets.
Tetra Pak’s fifth biannual environment survey, released last month, showed increased consumer and stakeholder demand for renewable materials and environmental labeling in food packaging. Industry respondents listed bio-based materials as one of the most important environmental trends shaping the future of food and beverage packaging. The ability to recycle packaging material is regarded as a top priority when developing a new product or service.
Consumers consider recycling important too, as it has represented the most common environmental activity among consumers since 2005. Approximately three out of four consumers in mature markets report sorting and setting aside for recycling, along with 39 percent of consumers in developing economies. However, consumers in the developing world are actually more active in all recycling activities (except for sort-and-set-aside), including considering environmental aspects when purchasing, looking for environmental information labeling and avoiding a beverage in a carton container for environmental reasons.
Around 75 percent say they have purchased or considered purchasing a product with environmentally friendly packaging, representing the second-most popular activity and a new addition to the list. Fourth-most popular and also a new edition was purchasing an environmentally friendly product, even if it costs more.
“The findings of this year’s report reinforce the importance of putting environment at the heart of our strategic agenda,” says Dennis Jönsson, Tetra Pak president and CEO. “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 toward the goals that we have set for ourselves in each of these important areas.”
According to the report, consumers are also demanding more information than ever before, with 37 percent regularly searching for environmental logos on food packaging. Just over half of consumers reported trusting environmental logos, compared with 37 percent in 2011.
Consumers continue to rate cartons most environmentally friendly, due to their use of paper, a renewable resource. Over 50 percent believe bio-based plastics will further improve the environmental performance of food and beverage packaging.
Tetra Pak polled more than 7,000 consumers and 200 food industry stakeholders in 13 countries for the survey, which you can read here(.pdf).