British shoppers* prefer to see their purchases packed in cardboard because it offers better protection than polystyrene for goods in transit, as well as being the easiest material to recycle, according to latest research commissioned by the Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI).
This boost for the Corrugated Packaging Industry is from a nationwide survey conducted online by YouGov** which found that out of 2,030 respondents who have goods delivered to them, 40% thought that cardboard offered the best solution for their purchases to reach them in pristine condition, while 37% opted for polystyrene and 7% chose plastic.
Significant support for cardboard packaging from shoppers surveyed came from all cross-sections of society, according to the findings from YouGov. London and Scotland scored the highest approval rating regionally with 45% and 46% respectively favouring cardboard’s protective qualities against other packaging materials.
Consumers were also asked which, if any, packaging material is easiest to recycle after receiving the product. Cardboard and paper came out on top with the backing of a huge 85% of respondents (55% and 30% respectively) against just 7% for plastic and 1% for polystyrene.
CPI’s Director of Packaging Affairs, Andy Barnetson, believes that while the result of the recycling question was broadly in line with what the industry expected, the findings for the best product protection in transit should be an eye-opener for online retailers and make them think again about the choice of packaging in their supply chains.
He said: “This latest survey indicating that consumers rate cardboard as the best protection for goods in transit is a really good result for the Corrugated Industry. We may not be far ahead but the fact is that we are ahead – in the area where polystyrene has always previously been seen to lead. It’s another poll that suggests cardboard packaging improves customer satisfaction with their purchases.
“I’m not surprised at the level of consumer support for ease of recycling. Awareness of the benefits of recycling cardboard is generally on the increase. Some councils are including corrugated in their kerbside collections from households. Alternatively, in most towns, there are civic amenity sites and recycling facilities at supermarkets where people can take their recyclable material.”
This YouGov poll of shoppers who have goods delivered to them backs up earlier research which indicated paper-based packaging materials have a positive influence on consumers’ purchasing decisions in-store as well.
Corrugated’s renowned environmental credentials – it’s the most recycled material in the packaging industry – and protective qualities are boosting its appeal, making it a vital logistics partner in the 21st Century supply chain.
The bottom line is that shoppers and retailers are recognising that corrugated’s flexibility and qualities in terms of sustainability, hygiene, logistics and protection, give it a significant edge over alternative forms of packaging.