Consumers recognise glass as a future-proof packaging material
In 2022, the European Container Glass Federation (FEVE) issued out a survey for the Friends of Glass consumer platform among more than 4,000 consumers across 13 European countries. Results showed that 8 in 10 Europeans view glass as a material fit for the future and recognise its credentials on bringing both recyclability and health benefits to the table.
The research aimed to identify how glass consumption evolved over the last 3 years, as well as to pinpoint the main drivers and barriers for choosing glass packaging. The survey also investigated consumers’ overall attitudes towards sustainability and glass and shows the majority of consumers view glass as a packaging material that is future proof.
Conscious consumption habits
It is no surprise that people are increasingly focused on living more sustainable lifestyles. With a trend towards zero waste lifestyles, buying in bulk and more conscious consumption habits, consumers say they buy less of numerous packaging materials in recent years. Glass is the only packaging material of which consumers say they buy more with 28% of consumers admitting to buy more glass in 2022 compared to three years prior.
Europeans view glass as being more sustainable due to its high levels of recyclability and its circular lifecycle. Glass is seen as a packaging material that has a positive impact on the environment. In fact, it is the only packaging material that is made entirely from natural ingredients and which has the capacity of being recycled time and time again without any loss of quality!
While several European countries are increasing their efforts to provide recycling solutions for glass, 83% of respondents stated that they recycle their used glass once done with it and 82% said to have a good understanding on what and how to recycle and trust that glass is effectively recycled. This is in line with recent Close the Glass Loop data that showed an average of 79% glass collection rate across the continent.
A more holistic approach to sustainability
As consumers took a closer look at their shopping habits, they not only gave more importance to factors like reusability and recyclability, but also to health and wellbeing. And glass checks all the boxes!
Beyond being a packaging material that is fit for the future from an environmental perspective, consumers also view glass as having health preservation capabilities due to its natural composition. Following the COVID-19 pandemic, Europeans adopted a more holistic approach to sustainability, as mental and physical health began assuming greater importance in consumers’ minds.
According to FEVE’s recent study, 57% of Europeans see glass as playing a prominent role in protecting their health and overall wellbeing. Glass, as a packaging material, endlessly recycled into a closed loop yet ensures consumers that their products are protected from chemicals and bacteria, while also preserving the quality and integrity of its contents. Because of this, when brands choose to package their goods using glass, it communicates to their consumers that they endorse environmental sustainability, quality product preservation and consumer health. This message is summed up into the Glass Hallmark proposed to brands for this purpose.
Consumers trust glass packaging
In consumers’ minds, glass means many things. Glass means sustainability and health just as much as it means quality. Glass holds many qualities and consumers know it! The survey showed that 7 in 10 consumers recognise that packaging plays a key role how they set brands apart.
Additionally, 65% of consumers admitting to being more trusting of the quality of products when they are packaged in glass. People’s growing interests in health and sustainability have had a direct impact on their views on packaging. Glass is a material that ensures quality, health, and sustainability, and as these factors gain importance in consumers’ minds, they should gain importance for brands too!
When consumers see goods packaged in glass, it communicates to them that the brand endorses similar values to their own. This elevates brands in the opinions of consumers and allows brands to set themselves apart from the rest.
If you want to be part of the movement towards sustainable lifestyles and future-proof packaging materials, choose glass. Through Friends of Glass, the industry has brought together a community of 220,000 people, in Europe and beyond, all of whom are passionate about their own environmental impact and who pledge to choose glass for a better planet and a healthier lifestyle. To take it one step further and show the depth of your support to sustainable practices, take a closer look at our Glass Hallmark.
About the InSites survey
The independent survey was conducted in 2022 via independent consumer research company InSites Consulting. It targeted 4,107 consumers (75% female, 25% male) from 13 European countries: Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey and the UK.
The survey tested consumer perspectives on beverage and food packaging and how this affects their purchasing decisions, including environmental consciousness, attitudes and behaviours around recyclability, and perceptions and preferences for different forms of packaging.
FEVE – the European Container Glass Federation – is the Federation of European manufacturers of glass packaging for food and beverages as well as flacons for perfumery, cosmetics, and pharmacy. It is made up of 60 corporate members from 20 independent corporate groups, including major companies working for the world’s biggest consumer brands. With its 160 manufacturing plants located across 23 European States, the industry is a key economic partner in Europe, and maintains 125.000 jobs along the total supply chain. See more on www.feve.org – Join us on Twitter @FeveEU.Download the survey results