Poll shows consumer preference for paper-based packaging

Over half of the UK’s consumers would prefer their groceries packaged in paper-based material, according to a new poll commissioned by the Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI).

corrugated mn

With 2,289 people surveyed in a nationwide poll conducted by YouGov, 57% of respondents preferred their grocery and food packaging in paper-based material, while 31% expressed no preference and 8% opted for plastic containers.

Consumers were also asked assuming that all other aspects of a product, such as price and quality, were equal how likely would they be to buy a product from a retailer using paper-based containers compared to plastic containers.

Almost half (46%) of respondents were more likely or much more likely to purchase an item if the packaging was paper-based, while almost the same number (47%) said it would make no difference, while just 3% were less likely.

London scored the highest approval rating regionally with 62% in the capital favouring paper-based material for grocery packaging.

The CPI’s director of packaging affairs, Andy Barnetson, said corrugated was meeting the modern requirements of many consumers and retailers for convenient, attractive and sustainable grocery and food packaging.

“The findings of the YouGov poll indicate that paper and corrugated remain the most popular form of packaging for consumers in the UK. However, the corrugated industry must keep building on this significant public support by continuing to put the consumer at the centre of everything it does.”



  1. It would be useful to see the actual questions asked in the survey. To me Grocery and Food covers almost anything you could buy in a supermarket – are the results really telling us that the Great British Public would rather take cheese, vegetable oil or cleaning fluid home in paper? Also do they mean the shelf ready packaging, the primary pack or the bag that the products are taken home in?
    As a Packaging Professional with a background in Polymer Science, I’ve always found it frustrating how consumers are unable to see the benefits of plastic packaging (e.g. lower carbon footprint, extended shelf-life). It would be interesting to find out *why* consumers prefer paper over plastic rather than just the fact that they *do*.

  2. How can this be titled ‘Poll shows consumer preference for paper based’ when the results are ‘46% more likely to purchase if the packaging was paper-based, while 47% said it would make no difference’. And for what products, exactly? Stand by for a raft of requirements for plastic which looks like paper…