91% of respondents believe retailers should do more to reduce the amount of packaging used on grocery products a Nielsen survey finds
New research from Nielsen shows Irish people are willing to educate themselves when it comes to environmental awareness and recycling grocery products and believe it’s the responsibility of retailers to reduce the amount of packaging used on grocery products.
“Shoppers needs are changing, and concerns over sustainability and the impact that current consumption behaviour is having on the environment is only gaining momentum," said Claire Cullen, Ireland Head of Analytics at Nielsen.
"This year, Ireland’s first zero-waste store opened in Clonakilty, Co. Cork where customers are encouraged to fill their own reusable containers from a wide range of dispensers containing food, household cleaning items and cosmetics, and pay by weight."
Actively Seeking Alternatives
The new survey reveals almost half of Irish shoppers either actively seek products with minimal packaging (48%), actively seek products in recyclable packaging (46%) or actively seek products with no packaging (46%).
This is in light of the European Commission Plastic Strategy announcing in January 2018 the proposal for new legislation that would ensure all plastic packaging on the European market can be reused and recycled by 2030.
Nielsen’s research also found that almost 90% of respondents claim to actively recycle all the plastic packaging they can, with 78% saying they worry about the effect their grocery packaging has on the environment.
Responsibility Lies With Retailers
The research showed that the vast majority of Irish shoppers also believe that responsibility lies with the retailers. 88% of respondents think there is too much plastic packaging being used unnecessarily, and 91% believe retailers should do more to reduce the amount of packaging used on grocery products.
“The reality is that today, the initiatives designed to address plastic pollution are being led by only a minority of companies, and there is much more that retailers and brands can do to better connect with consumers on this issue," Cullen added.
"Brands and retailers - of all sizes - and the government have a role to play in the reduction of plastics and pollution and educating consumers about their plans.”
Plastic Bag Levy
According to Nielsen 'promisingly', plastic bag usage among retailers has decreased dramatically in Ireland since the introduction of the ‘plastic bag levy’, which came into effect in 2002.
In addition to this, many of Ireland’s retailers have announced plans to significantly reduce plastic packaging within the next five to seven years, with some initiatives to take effect immediately, the research showed.
'Irish shoppers also believe the government has a role to play, with 75% of those surveyed agreeing the government should intervene to introduce fees or restrictions on producers for the use of plastics, ' the data and measurement company said.
The Irish government has reportedly invested heavily in a mass media recycling campaign designed to educate and raise awareness of the importance of recycling and combating plastic waste.
© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Donna Ahern. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.