Survey reveals 75% of UK adults want less packaging used in online shopping

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In a survey of UK adults by Whistl, a leading delivery management company, 75% of respondents said they wanted e-retailers to minimize parcel packaging waste and use environmentally friendly materials for packaging their online purchases.

Surprisingly, Millennials do not appear to be as environmentally friendly as previously thought as they find excess packaging to be less of an issue than those aged over 35. However, they are more open minded and willing to pay the most for eco-friendly packaging at £1.19 (US$1.55) per package compared to just £0.47 (US$0.61) extra by the over 65s. Resistance to paying extra is lowest in London and the South East and highest in Northern England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

According to the research, it appears that the UK public still does not think about parcel packaging when placing an order, with 58% considering it to be an afterthought or not at all. As for educating consumers on how their order is packaged, there is some interest in getting information before they buy but only one in five are very interested.

Although too much packaging is the third biggest frustration after cost and delays when buying online, 58% are unlikely to do anything or do not care about the volume of packaging.

However, 42% of respondents said they would take or have taken some sort of action if an order arrives in what they consider to be non-eco-friendly packaging, especially from baby and child product retailers. If consumers do choose to voice their concerns, they are more likely to either leave a bad review about the business or inform friends and family via word of mouth, with a further 15% choosing not to purchase from the company again.

When pressed for what respondents consider environmentally friendly parcel packaging to mean, the majority (92%) strongly associate it as an item that can be recycled.

Melanie Darvall, director of marketing and communications, commented, “These results show that although some consumers do care about the environmental impact of their packaging, the cost of delivery and secure product packaging are the most important factors influencing UK online shoppers.

“However, businesses should think about minimizing the amount of packaging sent to a consumer and ensuring that it can be recycled curbside could boost how satisfied your customer will be once their item has been delivered.”

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About Author

, editor

With over a decade of experience as a business and technology journalist working in B2B publishing, Hazel first joined UKi in 2011. After taking 18 months off to bring up her daughter and try her hand at marketing copywriting, she returned in January 2018 to do what she loves best – magazine editing! She is now the editor of UKi's Passenger Terminal World and Parcel and Postal Technology International magazines.

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