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No Surprise Who is Leading Sustainable Packaging Charge

Shoppers 18-34 are willing to pay more for sustainable packaging, according to an ALPLA survey.

Alpla Sustainable Survey

According to the ALPLA's 2024 Sustainability and Convenience in Packaging Survey, younger shoppers (18-34 years old) are prioritizing sustainable packaging to the point that they are willing to spend more, travel further, and make other extra efforts to ensure their purchases include environmentally friendly packaging.

“While we were broadly pleased to see that most of us understand the value of sustainable packaging and will make the sustainable choice more often than not, we were particularly encouraged to see that younger people are willing to make these choices even when it’s not easy,” said Billy Rice, sustainability manager at ALPLA, North America. “They are willing to go out of their way and spend more of their money in order to live sustainably.

While this comes as no great surprise to industry followers, it does present a real opportunity for CPGs to embrace sustainable solutions.

The survey of 1,000 adults revealed that nearly 40% of respondents said they either often or always choose sustainably packaged products when making a purchase where they have a choice. However, the number jumps above half to 54 % of 18-to 34-year-old respondents who said they make choices based on sustainability. Just 33% of respondents 35 and older, and 25% of those 55 and older, choose products with sustainable packaging "always or "often."

Other key findings from the survey include:

  • Nearly 50% of 18-to 34-year-olds are willing to travel 10 miles or more to a store that uses sustainable packaging.
  • 79% of 18-to 34-year-olds are willing to pay more for products or food that are packaged sustainably, with most willing to pay an extra 25% or more. By contrast, only 56% of consumers 35 and older and 41% of consumers 55 and older were willing to pay any premium for products with sustainable packaging.
  • 67% of 18-to 34-year-olds are willing to make at least moderate changes to their habits or lifestyles to make room for food or products with sustainable packaging. These changes include traveling further to find sustainably packaged products.
  • 53% of young consumers admitted their social circles played a significant role in their choices, saying that their eco-conscious shopping choices are “greatly” or “moderately” influenced by the choices of their friends and family, compared to only 29% of older generations. 
  • 48% of young consumers said it was either “always” or “often” a “deal-breaker” if a product did not have sustainable packaging.

The full survey results are available at ALPLA’s Plastic Reimagined website.

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