Over half (55%) of UK consumers are purchasing more products in environmentally-friendly packaging, according to new research.

A survey commissioned by Pro Carton found that over a third (36%) of respondents are already shunning products because of concerns about packaging, while nine in 10 UK shoppers want packaging to be more easily recyclable.

The European Consumer Packaging Perceptions Survey of over 7,000 consumers across seven countries also found that 88% of UK shoppers are requesting on-pack information that highlights how environmentally-friendly the packaging format is.

Following Chancellor Philip Hammond’s Autumn Budget pledge to tax UK-produced or imported plastic packaging that doesn’t contain at least 30% recycled content, 80% of UK consumers surveyed agreed there should be a tax to force retailers and brands to adopt more sustainable packaging.

Pro Carton general manager, Tony Hitchin, said: “The research points to the rapidly changing attitudes and behaviours of consumers since the sustainability debate came to the fore in 2017.

“Retailers and brands know they must satisfy customers, and to boot the government, in their demands for more environmentally-friendly packaging.”

The study also found that 68% of UK respondents said the environmental impact of a product’s packaging affects their purchasing decisions, fewer than in Spain (81%), Germany (77%) and Italy (75%).

Millennials are most likely to take action however, with over half (53%) of the UK’s 19-29 year olds surveyed deciding to switch brands because of a product’s packaging, with recyclability and over packaging cited as the main reasons, in the last year.

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