Enviroconcerns fade

In what was its final consumer research survey before shutting its doors on December 31, 1996 (see Packaging World, Jan. '97, p. 2), the Council on Packaging in the Environment (COPE) found that the environment is less of a concern for consumers than in previous years, though it's still considered important.

In interviews conducted with 1ꯠ consumers in late '96, COPE found that over 50% of the time, consumers look at the label for environmental information. But, says COPE, consumers now realize they should be concerned about the environmental properties of the product, as well as the packaging. Regarding the latter, consumers' top concerns are recyclability and biodegradability.

Some 71% of respondents said they could recall packaging changes made for environmental reasons. Packaging changes that would influence consumers' purchasing included making the package recyclable (35%), using recycled material (27%), reducing the amount of packaging (20%), and making the package refillable (20%). Yet research also indicated that consumers frequently associate environmental benefits with higher prices.

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