To step up the awareness-raising on the environmental impact of packaging, Smurfit Kappa has published the results of its exclusive survey on “The relationship between French people and packaging”, conducted in partnership with Yougov.

A majority of French citizens believe they can do without plastic packaging
Since 1 January, the French EGalim Act has prohibited the sale of several single-use plastic items. Plastic packaging is no longer deemed necessary for foodstuffs by 78% of French citizens, and for non-food products by 84%. Likewise, plastic bags and plastic water bottles are deemed the most pollutant.

Packaging remains a necessity for French citizens
While the French massively reject plastic packaging, 44% still prefer ready-packaged products in shops, even when products are available sold loose, thus confirming the essential role of packaging.

French people are vigilant as to brands’ efforts to preserve the environment
A majority (51%) of French citizens believe that consumer product packaging is eco-friendlier than three years ago. Likewise, 86% of those surveyed believe that packaging has a role to play in preserving the planet. 80% are aware of brands making efforts to use eco-friendly packaging, even claiming that this influences their purchasing behaviour. Furthermore, respondents are prepared to pay up to 22 cents extra for products in eco-friendly packaging. Those in the 18/24 age bracket would pay up to 48 cents extra, whereas over-55s are only prepared to pay 15 cents extra.

Packaging must be recyclable and protect the product
For 83% of the French, recyclability is in the Top Three most important environmental criteria for packaging, and 76% also rank the use of bio-sourced raw materials in this Top Three. However, packaging must also ensure product safety, hygiene and protection for over 60% of French citizens.

Well informed on environmental issues in packaging
While instructions as to recycling packaging are regularly accused of lacking clarity, a majority of the French (57%) still believe that they are fairly or absolutely clear. Likewise, French people claim that packaging accounts for 55% of volume in their rubbish bins, a figure that’s pretty close to reality (50%). However, only half of those surveyed feel sufficiently informed of the environmental impact of packaging.
This survey was conducted online, from 13 to 14 January 2020, on Yougov’s own panel of French citizens, 1,004 persons representative of the French population (over-18s). Data has been weighted to be representative of adult French citizens.