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Coronavirus accelerates consumers concerns over the environment

Since the coronavirus pandemic and the positive impact global lockdowns had on the health of the environment, thousands of Brits have changed their behaviour due to increased climate change concerns, according to a new study by Perspectus Global on behalf of Pro Carton – the European association of carton and cartonboard manufacturers. In fact, more than half (53%) of UK consumers surveyed said that Covid has made them more concerned about the environment.

The survey of 7051 Europeans was conducted in France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Austria, Turkey, Poland, Benelux and the UK a year after the first case of coronavirus was recorded in Wuhan, China. Out of the 1023 adults surveyed in the UK, more than three in five (61%) of consumers stated they recycle more now than they did in the previous year. Further to this, more than two in five (43%) consumers had made steps to reduce their water usage.

The environmental credentials of packaging also played a part in the shift in consumer behaviour, with many changing the way they shopped since the onset of the pandemic. More than half of consumers in the UK (54%) stated that the environmental impact of packaging affects their purchasing decisions, with less than two in five (18%) saying their purchasing decision was not affected.

Since the pandemic, nearly two in five (35%) consumers said they purchase products that are packaged in environmentally friendly packaging more often. In fact, the majority (75%) said they would choose cartonboard/cardboard packaging over plastic if they were buying the same product.

After coronavirus, consumers ranked climate change as the biggest issue facing the world today, demonstrating how high up on consumers’ agenda eco friendly habits are.

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 is 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.’


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