The survey, which was carried out on 500 UK branding, packaging and marketing managers, revealed that 44% of respondents felt that retailers should be responsible for packaging sustainability, while 19% thought it was the manufacturers’ responsibility and 10% thought packaging converters should take the lead.
When asked to name which of the top ten retailers in the UK has the best environmental approach to packaging, Marks & Spencer comes well ahead of the pack with 32% of the votes, followed by John Lewis/Waitrose with 22% , and then the Co-operative Group, nominated by 15%.
According to the survey, even when respondents were able to nominate any FMCG or retail brand that should be more responsible in its approach to packaging, the focus went back onto retail with Tesco being the most spontaneously nominated by 9%.
The second most frequent suggestion was Amazon, with 4% of marketing professionals saying the online retail giant should be doing more, according to the study.
However, when it comes to recycling, the respondents think the responsibility then shifts.
Only 14% think retailers should be responsible for packaging waste and recycling; the majority feel the onus should lie with the local council (28%) or the consumer (23%).
The survey comes ahead of easyFairs’ Packaging and Print Portfolio 2013 trade show, which will take place on 27 and 28 February at Birmingham’s NEC.
Matt Benyon, managing director at easyFairs UK, said: “We hope the debate will shed some light on consumers’ perception of how their goods are packaged and how their buying behaviour is influenced by environmental concerns, especially with the Government’s recent legislation for increased statutory packaging recycling targets from 2013 to 2017.
“If the majority of packaging professionals are dubious whether sustainable packaging actually sells, as consumers are more concerned about price or the product they are buying rather than the packaging, then what should they be focusing on and how can they communicate better to consumers about their initiatives to reduce their environmental impact? Whatever the outcome, I am sure it will be a heated one!”