Global paper packaging company Smurfit Kappa has been reconfirmed as a member of the Ethibel Sustainability Index for the 5th year in a row, demonstrating its continued best-in-class approach to sustainability. The Ethibel Sustainability Indices are composed of companies included in the Russell Global Index displaying the best performance in the field of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The selections are largely based on research carried out by Vigeo Eiris, a European rating agency responsible for data collecting and processing, performance and industry benchmarking. Speaking about the listing, Steven Stoffer, Group VP Development at Smurfit Kappa, said: “We invest a lot of time and resources into making sure that we continue to lead the way as a sustainable packaging supplier. We’re proud that Ethibel has recognised our work and commitment by including Smurfit Kappa in its Sustainability Index again this year.” Click read more below for additional detail.
With physical stores closed during the pandemic, the boom in online shopping resulted in record numbers of packages arriving on consumers’ doorsteps. Along with all that merchandise came a growing awareness of the materials used to package and ship products, and the impact those materials have on the environment. A new survey commissioned by Two Sides North America and conducted by international research firm Toluna found that U.S. consumers believe paper-based packaging is better for the environment than other packaging materials.
Paper: The preferred and sustainable packaging choice
Survey respondents were asked to rank their preferred packaging material (paper/cardboard, plastic, glass and metal) based on 15 environmental, aesthetic and practical attributes. Overall, paper/cardboard packaging was preferred for 10 of the 15 attributes, with half of respondents saying paper/cardboard is better for the environment. Consumers also preferred paper/cardboard packaging on other environmental attributes, including being home compostable (65%) and easier to recycle (44%).
Glass packaging was preferred by consumers for four practical and aesthetic attributes, including being reusable (39%), having a preferred look and feel (39%), providing a better image for the brand (38%) and better protection (35%). 45% preferred metal packaging for being strong and robust. Plastic packaging was not preferred for any of the 15 attributes but was ranked second for six attributes. Only one in 10 respondents believe plastic packaging is better for the environment.
Consumers demand that brands and retailers do more
Brands and retailers play a crucial role in driving innovation and the use of recyclable packaging. In response to increasing consumer pressure to operate more sustainably, brands and retailers in many sectors, from wine, spirits and soft drinks to candy, cosmetics and apparel are shifting from plastic to paper packaging.
The survey found that 49% of consumers would buy more from brands and retailers who remove plastic from their packaging, and 39% would consider avoiding a retailer that is not actively trying to reduce their use of non-recyclable packaging.
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