Consumers’ purchasing choices are influenced by the reduced plastic content of a products’ packaging. In fact, 35% of consumers were more likely to purchase products without any plastic at all compared to ones with recycled plastic, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analysis company.
George Henry, consumer analyst at GlobalData, commented: “This provides a specific insight for manufacturers as consumers would pursue plastic-free packaging rather than recyclable.”
Consumers’ willingness to change their shopping habits, along with potential margin benefits should encourage other retailers to launch their own refill sections.
GlobalData’s August 2019 survey highlighted that 71.3% of consumers across all demographics would be willing to use a similar refill service (whether at Waitrose or another grocer).
Henry adds: “Therefore, the government’s announcement to invest GBP60m to help cut single-use plastics by creating new forms of biodegradable packaging will have its limitations as consumers are influenced more by products without any plastic, rather than biodegradable alternatives.”
It is the largest ever investment for a single project, with GBP60m from the British taxpayers expected to be complemented by GBP149m from private businesses.
Henry concluded: “With countries like Malaysia and the Philippines now limiting the intake of plastic waste from abroad, the UK government has forced greener changes as a matter of national urgency – whether or not the biodegradable packaging route will sit well with consumers is still to be seen.”
Many companies take steps in the direction of reducing plastic. For example, Bimbo Bakeries will begin using a completely compostable bag for its bread beginning in October, while Nestlé has announced the launch of its YES! snack bars in a new recyclable paper wrapper, using a high-speed flow wrap technology.