In the wake of the public health crisis, the French want more sustainable packaging

The comprehensive packaging trade show ALL4PACK Paris 2020, which will take place from 23 to 26 November this year, wished to investigate the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on the use of packaging by the French population. A survey conducted in May on behalf of the exhibition IFOP revealed changes in the behaviour of certain parts of the French public.

Packaging, extremely useful

The IFOP survey, conducted among a representative sample of 1001 people, shows that French people in their majority find that packaging is extremely useful or very useful. This proportion is higher among senior citizens (66% compared to 22% among 18 to 24-year-olds), which illustrates a generational gap in perceptions.

Packaging plays a key role in the safety of products and therefore of consumers. The French clearly appear to be aware of this, and increasingly so since the crisis. However, this utility is confronted by a strong and lasting desire in society for change in the design and use of packaging to better address environmental challenges and issues.

Consequently, one third of French people preferred to buy products with less packaging before Covid-19 and 60% continue to do so despite the health crisis.

A change in behaviour with the Covid-19 epidemic

While 60% of respondents said that they had not changed their behaviour with regard to packaging, 40% say that they today buy more products with packaging since the Covid-19 health crisis. An even higher proportion make this choice in the north and east regions (48%) and in large metropolitan regions (45%) where the spread of the virus was more severe.

This difference in behaviour can be explained by the protective function provided by packaging and which appears set to continue.

What views of sustainable packaging?

The findings of the survey furthermore show that a substantial majority of the French (61%) believe that manufacturers do not make enough effort in the design of sustainable packaging. Nevertheless, there is no evidence of a “red card” from consumers (the most negative item was only supported by 17% of respondents).

The majority of those surveyed placed themselves in the “probably” positive or negative categories, illustrating an absence of certainty in this area, undoubtedly owing to lack of knowledge about the actions taken by manufacturers.

Substantial but unnoticed efforts to reinvent tomorrow’s packaging

“Packaging will always be necessary. It is essential, but it has arrived at the end of a cycle. Its reinvention is for the future. Many innovations are emerging from manufacturers, but the general public is sadly unaware of them,” says Olivia Milan, director of ALL4PACK.

As a tangible illustration, ALL4PACK has selected several of these innovations which will be presented to professionals by some of its exhibitors at the show:

  • Invention of a new recycled raw material made up of 100% recycled EPS (expanded polystyrene, the world’s most-used material in the world for packaging) from post-consumption products
  • Biodegradable packaging made from a new bio-based material which can be used as compost for agriculture
  • Packaging that can be reused up to 1,000 times to fulfil the needs of e-commerce
  • An innovative chemical recycling process to recycle mixed and contaminated plastics
  • Machine innovations to enable very quick production changes: switch from producing cardboard boxes to protective masks in less than two weeks or transform a conveyor robot into a cleaning robot that can disinfect 100 m² of surface area (in hospitals) per minute.

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Anne-Laure Mazel, ALL4PACK

Head of International Marketing BU

Phone :+33 (0)1 76 77 14 57

Manon Kerno - ALL4PACK Emballage Paris
Manon Kerno

International Marketing Officer

Phone : 01 76 77 11 91