Research reveals French consumer support for compostable packaging

NEW research has revealed the backing of French consumers for compostable packaging as the circular economy law enters its final stage.

The European Commission is soon to adopt ‘guidelines’ on what the provisions of the single-use plastics mean in practice. In order to appreciate French consumer habits and expectations in terms of waste and packaging management, compostable packaging specialist TIPA has published the results of a survey, via IPSOS, of 1,000 French consumers.

90% of respondents said they consider compostable packaging to be a healthy and environmentally friendly alternative to conventional plastic packaging, while 89% believe more food should be packaged in fully compostable packaging as an alternative to plastic.  65% said they are prepared to pay more for a product to be wrapped in compostable packaging, including 23% who revealed they are prepared to pay 3 to 5% more. 

On the question of being able to incorporate compostable packaging with food waste in home compost, 88% of consumers stated that they are either already doing it or willing to do it. Similar results emerged when asked about including compostable packaging waste in their existing or future separate collection of bio-waste, and 89% of respondents are already including or willing to include compostable packaging in organic waste collection.  

This habit seems to have increased since 2018, when 79% of those polled said they were ready to consider and treat compostable packaging as organic waste

89% of respondents said they would use compost if they were given the means to do so. A third of those surveyed revealed they don’t currently compost due to lack of space, infrastructure, etc, but would like to be able to do so. 

76% of those polled said they are concerned about the increase in plastic waste during lockdowns and its impact on the environment. The majority of French consumers are not satisfied with the efforts made by brands to reduce the amount of packaging around products. On a satisfaction scale from 1 to 10, respondents gave only an average score of 3.9. When asked a similar question in 2018, 83% agreed the retail industry was not doing enough to fight the plastic waste challenge. 

Daphna Nissenbaum, co-founder of TIPA corp, said, “Those results show that French people are ready – and already started – to change their habits in terms of waste management. In fact, maybe French people are even more ready than their British neighbours: according to the similar study carried out by TIPA in the UK in July, 69% of UK consumers believe more food should be packed in compostable packaging.”