Consumer behaviorEuropean consumers mainly concerned about plastic waste

Today, the German association for consumer research (GfK) published results of an environmental survey that identifies plastic waste to be one of the major concerns for more than half of European consumers.

This survey is part of the global study ‘Plastic Waste: Who cares who does?’ and was conducted in cooperation with Europanel and Kantar interviewing consumers in twelve European and 13 countries worldwide between April and May 2019.

Here are more insights:

  • More than 53 percent of European consumers consider plastic waste as one of their top three concerns – followed by climate change (44 percent). For 23 percent of respondents, plastic waste presents their single main concern.

  • While the issue of plastic waste dominates in Germany, Slovakia and the Netherlands, climate change is perceived as more important in Hungary (31 percent) and Sweden (29 percent).

  • Consumers around the world are trying to avoid plastic by using their own grocery shopping bags (88 percent), reusable cleaning utensils (84 percent) and refillable bottles (81 percent) and avoid disposable plastic dishes. However, when packing fruit and vegetables in the supermarket, they rely on provided plastic bags. As a result, contradictions between intent and action often appear in individual countries.

  • Manufacturers, followed by governments, are mostly expected to develop solutions to this problem. In contrast, a minor share of 7 percent sees it as the duty of retail trade.

Lennke Schils, GfK expert on Fast Moving Consumer Goods, explained: "There is no doubt that consumers are very worried about plastic waste and feel they are already doing a lot to avoid plastic. Above all, they require manufacturers to find a solution to the problem. This opens up clear opportunities for manufacturers to gain the loyalty of their customers. The point is to show that they take active measures to prevent plastic waste."

Source: GfK

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