Study reveals impact of pandemic on consumer environmental concerns

Winfried Muehling

A new study, conducted on behalf of Pro Carton – the European association of carton and cartonboard manufacturers, has revealed how the pandemic has impacted consumer concerns over the environment.

‘Thousands’ of Brits have changed their behaviour due to increased climate change concerns, according to research by Perspectus Global, with 53% of UK respondents saying that Covid has made them more concerned about the environment.

The survey of 7,051 Europeans was conducted in France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Austria, Turkey, Poland, Benelux and the UK.

Out of the 1,023 adults surveyed in the UK, 61% revealed they recycle more now than they did in the previous year, while 43% had made steps to reduce their water usage.

54% of UK consumers stated the environmental impact of packaging affects their purchasing decisions, with only 18% saying their purchasing decision was not affected.  Since the pandemic, 35% of consumers said they purchase products that are packaged in environmentally friendly packaging more often, with 75% saying they would choose cartonboard/cardboard packaging over plastic if they were buying the same product.

Winfried Muehling, general manager of Pro Carton, said, “This survey was carried out at a really interesting point in time, when consumers could clearly see the restorative effect global lockdowns and a slowdown of human activity could have on the health of the environment. Whilst it’s great that we are returning to normality, this has and will leave a lasting imprint on consumer behaviour and their concerns for the environment.

“The survey clearly shows that consumers are looking for ways to live more sustainably, including within their purchasing decisions. For this reason, I have no doubt that cartonboard will become the packaging material of choice as by being renewable, recyclable and biodegradable, it has clear advantages in protecting our planet for future generations.”