More than three quarters (76%) of Europeans see glass as the most environmentally friendly packaging material, a Europe-wide study has found.
This represents a 50% increase since 2008. The survey, carried out by the Friends of Glass community, canvassed almost 18,000 Europeans in 11 different countries.
Friends of Glass has said that while glass is regarded as one of the most sustainable and eco-friendly forms of packaging, there are still many Europeans who are not fully aware of its full benefits, and more education is needed.
The survey adds, 'Glass is 100% infinitely recyclable, yet a majority of Europeans believe that it is only 84% recyclable. Only 49% of them believe that glass waste is not harmful to the environment.'
Commenting on behalf of the Friends of Glass community, Adeline Farrelly, secretary general of FEVE, the European Container Glass Federation, said, “It is encouraging to see that consumers have become more conscious of the positive, sustainable benefits of glass packaging. Whilst these results are reassuring, as an industry, we cannot be complacent, and we remain committed in our focus to inform consumers about the unique sustainable and recycling properties of glass.”
“No matter how many times it is recycled, the permanent nature of glass means that its quality never diminishes – glass remains glass. Nowadays, Europeans can actively contribute to achieving a 100% recycling rate by bringing their used glass bottles and jars to the nearest bottle bank. Glass can be infinitely recycled as part of a positive circular economy, and within a closed loop.”
A Generation Gap?
This latest research indicates that older generations are better informed about the importance of choosing the right packaging for a healthy and sustainable lifestyle.
The research states that younger consumers buy fewer glass-packaged products than older generations, and expect less glass across food and beverage products. Price (34%) and availability (34%) are the main barriers to buying glass.
However, younger generations identify glass packaging as the trendier option, and find glass to be the best packaging option in preserving taste and quality.
It notes that while younger generations vote in favour of glass, they are less concerned than older consumers about food-safety and environmental issues relating to packaging materials.
© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Aidan O'Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.