10162019Wed
Last updateTue, 15 Oct 2019 3pm
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International Consumer Survey: Concerns about plastic use reflected in consumer behaviour on food packaging in Germany

70 % of the German respondents were of the opinion that food brands bear the main responsibility for the reduction of plastic waste in food packaging, according to an international consumer survey commissioned by Kemira. More than half (55%) are prepared to pay more for regenerative packaging.


According to an international consumer survey commissioned by the global chemical company Kemira, more than half of the 4,000 respondents in Germany, the USA, China and Finland said they were prepared to pay more for regenerative food packaging. Most respondents also hoped to reduce the use of plastics in their lives. The international survey, conducted by Taloustutkimus, an external opinion research firm, in the spring of 2019, examined consumer attitudes to food packaging materials, food purchases and food waste.
According to the survey, the main priorities of consumers with regard to the characteristics of food packaging relate to the hygiene and tightness of the container, but the packaging material itself is also considered important. Especially in Germany, recyclability and renewability are considered important. 55% of Germans, 46% of US citizens, 85% of Chinese and 44% of Finns were positive about the statement "I am willing to pay more for regenerative packaging (such as cardboard or other bio-based materials) in the food sector".
Many of the respondents recycle their packaging: Around 80% of Germans and Finns said they always recycle cardboard and cartons, compared to 40% in China and the USA. In the other countries, with the exception of the USA, plastic is recycled much less frequently.
"Food packaging plays an often overlooked role in the overall environmental balance of food, affecting both product shelf life and the recyclability of waste. For example, with appropriate packaging, food stays fresh longer and safer. We are actively following food packaging trends as we are part of the value chain for fiber-based packaging solutions," said Antti Matula, Vice President Product Lines and Business Development at Kemira.
The global discussion about plastics is also reflected in the survey as most respondents said they are trying to reduce the amount of plastics in their lives. In Germany 83% agreed with this view and in China an astonishing 93%, in Finland 67% and in the USA 58%. On the other hand, there is disagreement about the future of plastic packaging: 51% of Germans are negative about the increased use of plastics in food packaging, while the corresponding figure was 35% for US citizens, 38% for Chinese and 76% for Finns.
"It was interesting to see that 70% of German respondents felt that food brands were primarily responsible for reducing plastic waste in food packaging. This is something that food brands are actively addressing and one of the alternatives is the use of regenerative and recyclable fibre-based packaging materials. However, this is a complex issue, as brands are often global but regulations are local. We hope that the major global challenges will be taken into account in local legislation and expect some predictability for the regulatory future. Sustainable and regenerative solutions require consistent, long-term joint efforts," Matula concludes.
www.kemira.com

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