Irish shoppers demand curb on unnecessary plastic packaging

Irish consumers are leading the way with plastic reduction, while businesses need to catch up
Irish consumers are leading the way with plastic reduction, while businesses need to catch up

New research from Nielsen shows Irish people are willing to educate themselves when it comes to environmental awareness and recycling grocery products and believe it’s the responsibility of retailers to reduce the amount of packaging used



13 November 2018

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Plastic reduction has been one of the themes of 2018 across all industries, and now a new survey by Nielsen reveals almost half of Irish shoppers either actively seek products with minimal packaging (48%), actively seek products in recyclable packaging (46%) or actively seek products with no packaging (46%). This is in light of the European Commission Plastic Strategy announcing in January 2018 the proposal for new legislation that would ensure all plastic packaging on the European market can be reused and recycled by 2030.

Nielsen’s research also found that almost 90% of respondents claim to actively recycle all the plastic packaging they can, with 78% saying they worry about the effect their grocery packaging has on the environment.

A vast majority of Irish shoppers also believe that responsibility lies with the retailers. 88% of respondents think there is too much plastic packaging being used unnecessarily, and 91% believe retailers should do more to reduce the amount of packaging used on grocery products.

Irish shoppers also believe the government has a role to play, with 75% of those surveyed agreeing the government should intervene to introduce fees or restrictions on producers for the use of plastics. The Irish government has invested heavily in a mass media recycling campaign designed to educate and raise awareness of the importance of recycling and combating plastic waste.

“Shoppers’ needs are changing, and concerns over sustainability are only gaining momentum,” says Claire Cullen, Ireland head of analytics for Nielsen. “This year, Ireland’s first zero-waste store opened in Clonakilty, Co. Cork where customers are encouraged to fill their own reusable containers from a wide range of dispensers containing food, household cleaning items and cosmetics, and pay by weight.”

“The reality is that today, the initiatives designed to address plastic pollution are being led by only a minority of companies,” Cullen said, “and there is much more that retailers and brands can do to better connect with consumers on this issue. Brands and retailers – of all sizes – and the government have a role to play in the reduction of plastics and pollution and educating consumers about their plans.”




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