MCDONOUGH, GA. — Younger generations are doubling down on sustainable packaging, according to a recent report from ALPLA Group, a global plastic packaging company committed to more environmentally friendly solutions. According to the report, consumers between the ages of 18 and 34 are willing to go out of their way in terms of distance, convenience and price to purchase products that come in more eco-friendly packaging, and at a higher rate than older consumers.

The report, “2024 Sustainability and Convenience in Packaging Survey,” involved 1,000 American adults and was commissioned by ALPLA and conducted by Pollfish. Younger consumers were classified as being between the ages of 18 and 34, while other cohorts were classified as “35 and older” and “55 and older.”

According to the survey, 54% of younger consumers always or often base their purchasing decisions on sustainable packaging, compared to 33% of consumers ages 35 and older, and 25% of consumers ages 55 and older. Nearly half (48%) of younger consumers noted unsustainable packaging is often or always a deal-breaker when it comes to purchasing that product.

A significant majority (79%) of younger consumers said they would pay more for eco-friendly packaging, with a majority of this group stating they would spend up to 25% more. This is compared to only 56% of consumers ages 35 and older, and 41% of consumers ages 55 and older.

Younger consumers are also more likely to sacrifice convenience in search of more sustainably packaged products. According to the survey, 68% of this cohort is highly or moderately willing to adapt their habits or lifestyles to accommodate more eco-friendly packaging purchases, including paying more and traveling further to get it. This is compared to 50% of consumers ages 35 and older, and 41% of consumers ages 55 and older.

Additionally, convenience features of the packaging itself are not enough to deter some younger consumers from more sustainable packaging, as 34% of this audience stated they would choose an eco-friendly option over an unsustainable one even if it was more difficult to open or not resealable. Only 23% of older consumers share this sentiment.

The survey also explored social influences on sustainable shopping. More than half (53%) of younger consumers said they are greatly or moderately influenced by their friends and family to shop more sustainable, compared to only 29% of older consumers.

“This growing demand for sustainable packaging presents a unique opportunity for brands to differentiate themselves,” said Billy Rice, sustainability manager at ALPLA, North America. “By embracing sustainable practices, brands can not only attract young consumers but also contribute to a healthier planet.”

Find the full results from the study on ALPLA’s Plastic Reimagined website here.

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