Consumer actions to plastic waste

Door Jan Roekens | 10-09-2019

Kantar’s publication Who Cares, Who Does? is based on the results of a global survey covering 24 countries across Europe, Latam and Asia. Not only did they look at what people cared about, but also investigated what actions consumers are claiming to take and whether this is also true in their purchasing, through our direct link to their real shopping behaviour.

30% of people across the globe are highly concerned about the environment but only half of this group is frequently acting. With these numbers set to rise the impact on certain categories will be remarkable. For example, 36% of this highly active group avoid meat and this comes through in their buying habits with a 6% decline in spend (in the UK). 

Whether it’s the influence of the media, or public demonstrations against climate change, the impact of plastic on the environment has captured the attention of consumers worldwide.

The fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry is facing its own battle with plastic, and public outcry has led to a response from some of the most prominent brands around the world. Supermarket chains have done away with single-use plastic bags, while many manufacturers have taken steps to reduce or remove plastic packaging at point of sale or in their supply chain.

Our research found that nearly half (48%) of all consumers worldwide expect manufacturers to take the lead, saying they have the most responsibility to act on these issues. And making changes to account for this is clearly a matter of ‘when’, rather than ‘if’, for all businesses.

Regional differences

But, how much do shoppers really care? Are their criticisms and wishes reflected in their own purchase behaviour? Which regions, countries and demographics are most engaged with reducing their plastic consumption? Where does the opportunity lie for retailers and manufacturers?

Kantar, in collaboration with Europanel and GfK, has surveyed more than 65,000 people in 24 countries— exploring how they feel about the use of plastics by FMCG companies. What makes this study unique is the ability to compare their answers with Kantar’s panellists’ real purchase behaviour, to truly understand how they change their shopping baskets and their relationship with the brands they are choosing.

That said, retailers and manufacturers can’t expect consumers to jump to their brand purely for their green credentials— and being ‘green’ or sustainable means different things in different markets. By understanding the ‘green gap’ between those who say they care, and those that actually do something about it, we can unlock the opportunities of environmental concern—and help brands play an important role in shaping our future planet.

Source: Press release Kantar, 10 september 2019


Auteur: Jan Roekens, Hoofdredacteur

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