Paying The Price

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The goals of the sustainability movement are pushed from many different directions, including retailers, CPGs and converters. But ultimately the biggest driver may lie with consumers themselves.

A newly released report from Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) finds that well more than half of American shoppers (56 percent) would like to have more sustainable options for the packaged products they buy. Additionally, just more than 42 percent of respondents said they would be willing to pay an added cost for more sustainable packaging.

As should come as no great surprise, the younger the respondent, the stronger they leaned in favor of greater sustainability initiatives and options. Just more than half of the Generation X respondents and 55 percent of Baby Boomers stated they would like to see a wider range of sustainable packaging options, while 63 percent of Millennials indicated they have a strong preference for sustainable packaging.

“The U.S. market is seeing an increasing number of Americans placing higher levels of importance on the role of sustainability — be it reused, recycled, certified, or deforestation-free materials — in a company’s product packaging and broader environmental practices,” said Ian Lifshitz, Director of Sustainability and Stakeholder Relations, Americas, for Asia Pulp & Paper (APP). “This is a fundamental and critical marketplace shift with significant implications for brands, particularly with regard to how they integrate environmental sustainability in the paper and product packaging they sell in the marketplace and, more broadly, across their supply chains and global operations.”

Millennials are also the most determined when it comes to evaluating the overall environmental footprint a company demonstrates to the world. Just 20 percent of Baby Boomers say they conduct research into a company’s environmental practices before making a purchase, with 31 percent of Generation X respondents saying the same thing. But a full 50 percent of Millennials report that they will use a company’s environmental responsibility to make purchasing decisions.


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