Macfarlane study highlights pandemic's packaging impact

Darryl Danielli
Thursday, September 24, 2020

Macfarlane Packaging’s latest 'Unboxing' survey has highlighted how online retailers are responding to the environmental concerns of consumers.

Branding opportunities continue to be missed, said report
Branding opportunities continue to be missed, said report

The annual consumer study, which is in its fifth year, was compiled over the summer from 270 responses and straddled four sectors: fashion, food & drink, health & beauty, and home & garden.

Its 2020 edition showed that sustainability issues remained high on many retailers’ agendas with the use of recyclable packaging rising by 12% to 63% over the past 12 months. Although only 49% of packaging used by fashion retailers was reported as being recyclable.

Equally, despite the rise in dynamic packaging sizing, more than 20% of those surveyed thought that packages used were too large for purpose and 16% said too much packaging was used.

Health & Beauty retailers and brands were the worst offenders, with 22% of customers saying too much packaging was used and 38% that the packaging was unnecessarily oversized.

Despite the dramatic increase in online purchasing as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, branding and customer service opportunities also continue to be missed by brands and retailers. 32% of consumers stated that they had received packs without branding, just shy of the 33% that reported packages had no returns information.

Commenting on the survey results, Macfarlane marketing director Laurel Granville said: “2020 has been an extraordinary year for us all and we know that consumers are rapidly moving to online shopping."

“Our survey shows that despite the restrictions during lockdown…retailers have been making encouraging improvements in their environmental packaging and this has been noticed by consumers.”

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