Packaging’s Long Green Tail
Consumers are starting to expect sustainable-oriented packaging.
A packaging executive at Procter & Gamble was recently quoted in Packaging World as saying,
“At times it does feel like packaging is becoming ‘the villain,’ when in reality it is a small player in the overall environmental footprint of the product. However, viewed through the lens of our consumers, packaging is the first thing and also the last thing that they experience with our brands. Therefore if it is important to our consumers, then it is important to us.”
Insights from our report, Sustainability: The Rise of Consumer Responsibility, show that while sustainably-oriented packaging (e.g., packaging that make use of recycled materials, can be repurposed or shows a reduction of packaging) is quickly becoming a consumer expectation — it is not a primary purchase motivator. Ultimately a product’s essential make-up (such as ingredients) most strongly influences perceptions of its sustainability and motivates purchase. Yet, especially in fast moving categories, such as beverages, high frequency packaging use and disposal has translated toward awareness of brands and companies embracing — or not embracing — what are now viewed as first steps in sustainability practices.