According to the study people do differentiate between different types of packaging – with an indication that the more recyclable a product, the more likely people are to think it is environmentally friendly although this would need to be tested by more qualitative research.
64 per cent of people say that they would pay more for a product with environmentally friendly packaging and 50 per cent of shoppers say that the impact that the type of packaging has on the environment affects their purchasing decision.
Over 50 per cent of shoppers see both themselves and manufacturers or brand owners as responsible for minimising the environmental impact ahead of any local or national government responsibility. This differs from studies conducted in the UK where people thought it was primarily the government’s responsibility.
Joan Grace, Chief Executive of PrintNZ said that the study had been undertaken as part of the paper industry’s commitment to the Packaging Accord 2004 under which it must meet a paper recycling target of 70 per cent by 2008 and that the results will help with both educating consumers and businesses about their role.
“The results of the survey are very good for our members with consumers having more positive attitudes towards paper packaging than other forms.”
“Much of the current debate about packaging focuses on the high profile issue of its eventual disposal, we want to broaden this discussion to include the benefits of packaging and what influences purchasing decisions.”
“It is excellent news that most New Zealanders are recycling something with over 80 per cent of respondents saying that they have access to full or partial recycling services. What is even more interesting is that people do recognise their own role when purchasing but consider manufacturers have a joint responsibility to reduce the environmental impact of products. This is what the Packaging Accord is all about – shared responsibility.”
She added: “This study has given us a better understanding of people’s attitudes and their interests and concerns. It is a very good platform from which further more detailed research could be carried out.”
The NZPPA is sharing the research with other packaging associations as part of its joint commitment to encourage recycling and minimise waste.