The BBIA recently conducted a series of interviews with British shoppers, which have revealed clear confusion with the current labelling system for plastic packaging.

The study, which was part of the Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI-JU) funded Usable Packaging project, saw respondents outline confusion over logos, with the majority suggesting that they lack the information they need when disposing of packaging.

The recyclable and no littering signs were mostly correctly identified (90 per cent), but composting labels yielded a much lower level of recognition (10 per cent). In addition, the public’s understanding of relevant terminology was mixed – whilst the majority of respondents knew what the word ‘compostable’ meant, half were unsure of what the disposal of compostable packaging entailed.

Very few respondents understood the concept of plant-based packaging; almost no one was able to describe what a ‘bioplastic’ is, although some recognised that the concept sounded positive.

The majority of consumers interviewed said that they were making a conscious effort to incorporate sustainability into their shopping habits – 65 per cent stated that they’d be put off buying a product if it did not have environmentally friendly packaging. However, the survey revealed the limits of environmental considerations, with some shoppers noting that they would only pay a small amount extra for eco-friendly packaging. Others stated that they would need some assurance as to what ‘good’ the packaging was doing before paying extra.

Consumers resolved that more clear and consistent information is needed to help guide their choices, with respondents stating that organisations such as the Government, media outlets, and packaging companies should be doing more to educate shoppers, with a number suggesting that the responsibility shouldn’t solely lie with the consumer.

The full article can be read on the Packaging News website.