Packaging environmental claims–still a challenge for many






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posted by Kari Embree, Senior Digital Content Editor — Packaging Digest, 8/23/2013 12:05:29 PM





A few months back, I read an article in Packaging Digest about consumers taking responsibility for “green actions.” After citing some statistics about how a “record-high 71 percent of Americans” are “buying with an eye toward green,” the article went on to talk about some of the challenges consumers have in following through on their intent. At least 33 percent indicated that inadequate resources, “such as recycle bins or community access,” were preventing them from following through. An even greater number-60 percent-indicated that they find the environmental terms companies use in their product advertising or package messaging misleading or confusing. 

That got me thinking about the on-package messaging audits we’ve done, particularly around recyclability. Here are common mistakes we’ve found, and why the messaging is misleading or just plain incorrect.

 

• A variety of brands of pump-dispensing hand soap bottles display the Möbius loop (or chasing arrows) on the bottle component of the packaging. These packages are typically a polyethylene (PET) bottle and a polypropylene (PP) closure with a pump assembly that includes metal parts. Use of the Möbius loop on the bottle provides only part of the information the consumer requires. Indeed, more than 60 percent of the population (the percentage required by the Federal Trade Commission’s Green Guides to make a recyclability claim) have access to recycle both PET bottles and non-bottle rigid plastic items. However, since the pump has metal parts that cause problems in plastic reprocessing, the PP closure with its pump assembly is not recyclable and should be labeled as such.

 

• Most grocery stores today sell pre-washed, pre-cut vegetables in plastic bags. Many of these bags display the resin identification code (RIC) No.4 with its chasing arrows. Using a RIC in this manner constitutes a “widely recycled” claim since a majority of consumers believe the RIC is a recycling symbol. While low-density PET No.4 bags are recyclable, the message is misleading. It suggests curbside collection, which is only available to about 20 percent of the population. LDPE bags need to be dropped off at retail stores for recycling, so the packaging needs to clarify that. An appropriate label would be the Möbius loop (not the RIC) prominently displayed with the words “store drop-off.”

 

• Chewing gum is regularly sold in multipacks consisting of a small paper carton containing the individually paper- and foil-wrapped sticks of gum and sealed with a polyvinyl chloride (PVC) overwrap. The most common labeling found on these packages is a No.3 RIC, indicating PVC and constituting a “widely recycled” claim. Virtually none of the U.S. population has access to PVC film recycling, so the labeling is incorrect.

 

Additionally, since the label is on the outer packaging component, most consumers infer that it applies to all of the packaging components, which is also misleading. To facilitate proper disposal of this type of packaging, all of the components should be labeled. The plastic overwrap and foil wrapper should have a Möbius loop with a red slash through it, indicating that they fall into the “not yet recycled” category. The paper wrapper (if separate from the foil wrapper) should carry the Möbius loop, as should the paper carton. Common mistakes like these are a primary reason GreenBlue’s Sustainable Packaging Coalition, with input from its member companies, created the How2Recycle Label. The label is designed to help brand owners provide clear and consistent recyclability guidance to consumers for each component of a product’s packaging. 

Author Katherine O’Dea is senior director of innovation and advisory services for GreenBlue. For more information about GreenBlue’s Sustainable Packaging Coalition, visit www.sustainablepackaging.org.

 

 

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How Important is Consistent Clarity in a Thermoformed Package for Increased Sales?

According to Technomic, a food industry research and consulting firm, at the height of the economic downturn many consumers purchased retail prepared foods. But now as the economy recovers, some consumers are purchasing retail less often than they did just two years ago; in fact, 38% of today’s consumers say that they purchase prepared foods from traditional supermarkets each week—compared to 42% who said the same in 2010.

“These consumers may be reversing the patterns they set a couple of years ago by heading back to restaurants,” says Darren Tristano, vice president of Technomic. “For retailers to gain or maintain their share of foodservice dollars, they’ll need to clearly stand out from restaurants—especially since our data shows that consumers’ expectations are rising for the taste, quality, freshness and appearance of retailer prepared foods.”

In the food industry, the presentation of the food is just as important as the food itself.  Catching the consumer’s attention, especially in big stores can be difficult. A key differentiator between all of the food options available can be achieved by having a crystal clear package. As a result, numerous thermoformers are now realizing just with a simple switch to PET sheet for their packaging—they are able to increase sales.

One of the principal advantages of PET sheet is its optical clarity.  Packages made from PET sheet tend to show very little haziness compared to other available packaging materials.  Packaging made from PET sheet has even helped some thermoformers create an image of a “premium product” in a market or convenience store refrigerated case amongst their competitors. 

Yet, just by making the switch to PET, thermoformers have discovered they are not always able to produce a “truly” clear PET package every time. To resolve this industry wide issue, OCTAL developed a production process that has proven to successfully produce a consistently clear PET sheet.

“OCTAL’s propriety technology produces PET sheet directly from PET resin melt, resulting in a final product with significantly enhanced optical and mechanical properties. With direct-to-sheet PET product, DPET, OCTAL delivers the finest quality and most consistent PET sheet to enable thermoformers, brands and retail partners to realize unsurpassed reliability, consistently  higher yield, and packages with an unbeatable clear finish,” states William J. Barenberg, Jr., OCTAL’s chief operating officer.

OCTAL’s DPET provides increased gloss, no visual inclusions, finished parts without color variation, and with a high Intrinsic Viscosity (I.V.), unparalleled toughness.  DPET also requires up to five degrees less heat at standard draw ratios in the thermoforming process, which translates into less energy consumption and more savings for the customer.

“The OCTAL DPET process also brings the major advantage of a carbon footprint 25% below that of traditionally produced APET films.  The direct-to-sheet process eliminates the most energy-intensive and defect-prone processes to deliver a spotless sheet with a fraction of the energy,” stated William J. Barenberg, Jr., OCTAL’s chief operating officer.

Any thermoformer looking to attract and keep the consumers’ attention on the retail shelf through clearer package can simply make the switch to a PET sheet. However, before making any switch, it is best to test that PET sheet in a manufacturing environment to ensure that the consistent clarity promised from the supplier will be achieved.

Reference:  http://www.perishablenews.com/index.php?article=0027365

Editor’s Note: This post was shared by a member of the Package Design community. Do you have news to share with our readers or a package design project that you are especially proud of? Click here to learn how you can become a contributing member of the Package Design online community.

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Ultra cleaning power packed in a smaller, easy-to-use bottle






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Posted by Rick Lingle, Technical Editor — Packaging Digest, 5/29/2013 4:19:57 PM





 

Arm&Hammer UltraNew from the makers of ARM & HAMMER, Ultra Power 4X Concentrated Laundry Detergent is an ultra-concentrated formula that’s packed with powerful stain-fighters and two scoops of baking soda to deliver cleaner, fresher clothes than the leading value brand. Packaged in a convenient, smaller and less bulky bottle that is easy to measure and store, Ultra Power is super-concentrated to give consumers powerful cleaning in every drop.

 

“From my work as a trainer, I know that strength can come in even the smallest sizes,” says Tracy Anderson, celebrity fitness expert. “I need a laundry detergent that shares the same principles to help me power through even the toughest stains. Arm & Hammer Ultra Power 4X Concentrated keeps my family’s clothes fresh and cleans with the muscle I expect.”

 

The ultra-concentrated liquid and smaller packaging of Ultra Power 4X Concentrated makes it an environmentally responsible laundry choice. Compared to Arm & Hammer 2X detergents, the ultra-concentrated liquid requires less water to produce and since the 4X bottles are smaller than 2X bottles, consumers get more wash loads with less plastic.

 

“At Church & Dwight, the consumer is our top priority and we are always exploring new ways to meet their laundry needs,” says Kevin Kuchinski, VP, Church & Dwight Fabric Care. “The introduction of Ultra Power 4X Concentrated allows us to expand our laundry portfolio and continue to give consumers what they are looking for – a detergent that delivers tough cleaning power, is convenient, and delivers strong value.”

 

Arm & Hammer  4X detergents come in two varieties, Ultra Power 4X Concentrated Refreshing Falls, and Sensitive Skin 4X Concentrated Perfume & Dye Free, which is dermatologist-tested to be gentle on sensitive skin.

 

Each variety comes in two sizes, 45oz (60 loads) from $4.97 and 90oz (120 loads) from $7.83, both available at retailers nationwide.

Source: Church & Dwight

 

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How2Recycle Label succeeds with companies and consumers






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Anne Bedarf, senior manager, GreenBlue Sustainable Packaging Coalition — Packaging Digest, 5/3/2013 5:53:23 PM





GreenBlue’s Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC) held its Spring Conference recently in San Francisco, bringing together professionals from companies, government agencies and other non-profits interested not only in packaging sustainability, but sustainability overall as it applies to products and systems.

During the meeting, the SPC released the Soft Launch Report for the How2Recycle Label, detailing the findings of the past year. In all, 12 companies have joined the program—Kellogg’s the most recent. The soft launch findings verify the How2Recycle Label is understood by consumers, leads consumers to action, elicits positive impressions of products and companies, and meets Federal Trade Commission requirements. 

The Label also proved to be a valuable tool for companies wishing to understand the specific recyclability of their packaging. In short, it is fulfilling the project goal of improving both the quality and quantity of package recycling. 

To help potential participants understand the business perspective of How2Recycle Label implementation, one of the SPC meeting breakout sessions featured the stories of three companies: Sealed Air, Kellogg Co. and Seventh Generation.

Laura Taney of Sealed Air kicked off the presentation focusing on the company’s experience implementing the “Store Drop-off” version of the label for polyethylene (PE) films on its Fill Air inflatable packaging. Taney recommended internal training and involvement happen early, particularly with marketing and legal departments. It considered participation in the H2R Label to be a great success, as it:

• Strengthened relationships with its customers;

• Contributed to sales growth;

• Enhanced the value of its products; and 

• Improved overall sustainability value propositions for Sealed Air and its customers.

Sealed Air will be placing the Label on additional PE film products in the near future.

Next, Melissa Craig of Kellogg Co. shared her perspective. The company’s goals in using the Label centered on informing its consumers on the recyclability of all package components and delivering a consistent message across all brands, in addition to being the first in the cereal category to use the Label.

Craig found that, because new products were involved, a non-disclosure agreement was essential. The How2Recycle License Agreement now includes an NDA section as an important learning from the soft launch. Finally, Craig found that a desire to move forward quickly must be balanced with an approach that takes into consideration varying packaging types, previously used recyclability language and company-wide communications. The Label was introduced on Special K cereal in April 2013, with other brands following soon after.

Peter Swaine of Seventh Generation was the final speaker. Seventh Generation’s focus on using post-consumer recycled content drove its support of the How2Recycle Label. As of April 2013, the company has used it on 71 stock-keeping units (SKUs).

Seventh Generation is incorporating the Label on all packaging as the label art is updated. A key internal tool was creating a “How2Recycle Library” that showed the appropriate label for each packaging type.

Swaine described the need to “run the gauntlet” of departments when doing internal consulting on the Label, including creative, operations, packaging, consumer science, claims, quality assurance, regulatory/legal, consumer relations and brand management. 

For the Label to have maximum effectiveness, additional participation is needed. See www.how2recycle.info/how2join for more information.

 

Author Anne Bedarf is a senior manager at GreenBlue’s Sustainable Packaging Coalition. For information about the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, visit www.sustainablepackaging.org

 

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Who is willing to fork out more for fresh and sustainable packaging?






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Posted by Lisa McTigue Pierce, Executive Editor — Packaging Digest, 4/8/2013 10:57:55 AM





 

Fresh foods (Microsoft)When it comes to food and beverage packaging, consumers are most likely to pay more for value-added features that relate to freshness and sustainability. This is the latest finding from a global study conducted by Ipsos InnoQuest.

 

Consumers from around the world were given a list of potential packaging features and asked which ones they would be willing to pay more for. On a global basis, consumers were most likely to say they would pay more for “Packaging that keeps food fresh longer” (55 percent) and “Packaging that is environmentally-friendly” (55 percent).

 

Following freshness and environmental benefits, consumers said they were likely to pay more for packaging that is re-usable (42 percent) and easier to use (39 percent). Interestingly, more sophisticated packaging features were less likely to motivate consumers to spend more: packaging that prevents mess or spills, keeps food and beverages at the right temperature, and makes it easier to eat and drink on-the-go ranked lowest (34 percent, 33 percent and 31 percent, respectively).

 

“Packaging plays a key role in consumer packaged goods innovation, whether marketers are introducing new products or trying to invigorate existing brands” ,” says Lauren Demar, global CEO, Ipsos InnoQuest. “As a key driver in the consumer’s decision to buy, packaging features can often be leveraged to charge a premium. Our latest findings indicate that consumers place the most value on packaging that preserves freshness and offers environmental benefits. For marketers, there may be an opportunity to win over consumers and increase revenues through innovative package designs that deliver sustainability of freshness as well as sustainability of the planet.”

 

The survey also revealed that certain countries were more likely to say they would pay more for fresh and sustainable packaging:

 

South Africa, Malaysia and India were most likely to say they would pay more for packaging that keeps food fresh longer.

Mexico, South Africa and Indonesia were most likely to say they would pay more for environmentally-friendly packing.

 

Complimentary access to the data in this report for each of the 26 countries is available upon request from Ipsos InnoQuest.

 

These are the findings from a study conducted by Ipsos InnoQuest via Ipsos Global @dvisor, an online survey of citizens around the world. A total of 19,883 adults from 26 countries were polled between Aug. 7 and 21, 2012. The countries included Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the United States of America.

 

Source: Ipsos InnoQuest

 

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Consumers take responsibility for ‘green’ actions…






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Posted by Rick Lingle, Technical Editor — Packaging Digest, 4/3/2013 4:11:07 PM





Cone Study

 

Earth Day may be just around the corner, but consumers are buying with an eye toward “green” all year long. A record-high 71 percent of Americans consider the environment when they shop, up from 66 percent in 2008. Additionally, nearly half (45 percent) of consumers actively seek out environmental information about the products they buy, according to the five-year benchmark of the 2013 Cone Communications Green Gap Trend Tracker.

 

Accountability versus action

 

Even as “green” becomes increasingly top of mind, Americans still struggle with their role in the lifecycle of products with an environmental benefit. Nine-in-10 said they believe it’s their responsibility to properly use and dispose of these products, but action isn’t aligning with intent:

 

  • Only 30 percent say they often use products in a way that achieves the intended environmental benefit
  • 42 percent say they dispose of products in a way that fulfills the intended environmental benefit

 

Despite the lack of consistent follow-through, consumers are showing an inclination to learn more. Americans report they regularly read and follow instructions on how to properly use (71 percent) or dispose (66 percent) of a product. Forty-one percent said they perform additional research to determine how best to utilize and discard a product for maximum benefit.

 

Closing the gap: access and communications

Nearly all respondents (85 percent) want companies to educate them on how to properly use and dispose of products. But they identify significant barriers to doing so, as well. One-third of consumers (33 percent) cited not having the adequate resources, such as disposal bins and community access, as the primary reason for not disposing or using products as intended, while 20 percent stated they simply do not know how to do so.

Consumer understanding of environmental messages also presents an obstacle. Although more than 60 percent of respondents say they understand the environmental terms companies use in their advertising, the majority continue to erroneously believe common expressions such as “green” or “environmentally friendly” mean a product has a positive (40 percent) or neutral (22 percent) impact on the environment. Fewer were able to correctly identify these terms as meaning the product has a lighter impact than other similar products (22 percent) or less than it used to (2 percent). Despite the attention given to product development and environmental marketing, consumer misunderstanding of “green” claims has remained flat at around 60 percent since 2008.

 

“The new green gap is about consumers only taking the idea of responsibility so far, despite feeling responsible for proper use and disposal,” says Liz Gorman, Cone Communications’ senior vice president of Sustainable Business Practices. “They’re buying with the environment in mind, but they rely on companies to provide access and education to truly ‘close the loop.’”

 

Honesty and clarity trump perfection

Almost three-quarters (71 percent) of consumers wish companies would do a better job helping them understand environmental terms. Although they feel overwhelmed by the volume of messages in the marketplace, consumers prioritize authenticity over perfection and will punish companies if they feel misled:

  • 48 percent say they are overwhelmed by environmental messages
  • 69 percent say it’s okay if a company is not environmentally perfect as long as it is honest
  • 78 percent say they will boycott a product if they discover an environmental claim to be misleading

 

When it comes to finding those environmental messages, consumers are primarily looking on the product itself, signaling prime real estate for companies looking to communicate important environmental information:

  • 45 percent say they are most likely to use on-pack resources for information about how to properly use and dispose of environmental products
  • 26 percent say they are most likely to use an online search

 

“Consumers are ready to follow through on the intended use or disposal of environmentally preferred products, but they need companies’ help,” Gorman explains. “This is the next evolution of environmental marketing. Clear and candid communication can ensure consumers understand the important role they play in minimizing the impacts associated with the product’s lifecycle.”

 

About the Research
The 2013 Cone Communications Green Gap Trend Tracker presents the findings of an online survey conducted March 7-10, 2013 by ORC International among a demographically representative sample of 1,068 adults, comprising 552 men and 516 women 18 years of age and older. The margin of error associated with a sample of this size is ± 3 percent at a 95 percent level of confidence. Some figures may not add up to 100 percent due to rounding.

 

Source: Cone Communications

 

 







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Consumers take responsibility for ‘green’ actions…






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Posted by Rick Lingle, Technical Editor — Packaging Digest, 4/3/2013 4:11:07 PM





Cone Study

 

Earth Day may be just around the corner, but consumers are buying with an eye toward “green” all year long. A record-high 71 percent of Americans consider the environment when they shop, up from 66 percent in 2008. Additionally, nearly half (45 percent) of consumers actively seek out environmental information about the products they buy, according to the five-year benchmark of the 2013 Cone Communications Green Gap Trend Tracker.

 

Accountability versus action

 

Even as “green” becomes increasingly top of mind, Americans still struggle with their role in the lifecycle of products with an environmental benefit. Nine-in-10 said they believe it’s their responsibility to properly use and dispose of these products, but action isn’t aligning with intent:

 

  • Only 30 percent say they often use products in a way that achieves the intended environmental benefit
  • 42 percent say they dispose of products in a way that fulfills the intended environmental benefit

 

Despite the lack of consistent follow-through, consumers are showing an inclination to learn more. Americans report they regularly read and follow instructions on how to properly use (71 percent) or dispose (66 percent) of a product. Forty-one percent said they perform additional research to determine how best to utilize and discard a product for maximum benefit.

 

Closing the gap: access and communications

Nearly all respondents (85 percent) want companies to educate them on how to properly use and dispose of products. But they identify significant barriers to doing so, as well. One-third of consumers (33 percent) cited not having the adequate resources, such as disposal bins and community access, as the primary reason for not disposing or using products as intended, while 20 percent stated they simply do not know how to do so.

Consumer understanding of environmental messages also presents an obstacle. Although more than 60 percent of respondents say they understand the environmental terms companies use in their advertising, the majority continue to erroneously believe common expressions such as “green” or “environmentally friendly” mean a product has a positive (40 percent) or neutral (22 percent) impact on the environment. Fewer were able to correctly identify these terms as meaning the product has a lighter impact than other similar products (22 percent) or less than it used to (2 percent). Despite the attention given to product development and environmental marketing, consumer misunderstanding of “green” claims has remained flat at around 60 percent since 2008.

 

“The new green gap is about consumers only taking the idea of responsibility so far, despite feeling responsible for proper use and disposal,” says Liz Gorman, Cone Communications’ senior vice president of Sustainable Business Practices. “They’re buying with the environment in mind, but they rely on companies to provide access and education to truly ‘close the loop.’”

 

Honesty and clarity trump perfection

Almost three-quarters (71 percent) of consumers wish companies would do a better job helping them understand environmental terms. Although they feel overwhelmed by the volume of messages in the marketplace, consumers prioritize authenticity over perfection and will punish companies if they feel misled:

  • 48 percent say they are overwhelmed by environmental messages
  • 69 percent say it’s okay if a company is not environmentally perfect as long as it is honest
  • 78 percent say they will boycott a product if they discover an environmental claim to be misleading

 

When it comes to finding those environmental messages, consumers are primarily looking on the product itself, signaling prime real estate for companies looking to communicate important environmental information:

  • 45 percent say they are most likely to use on-pack resources for information about how to properly use and dispose of environmental products
  • 26 percent say they are most likely to use an online search

 

“Consumers are ready to follow through on the intended use or disposal of environmentally preferred products, but they need companies’ help,” Gorman explains. “This is the next evolution of environmental marketing. Clear and candid communication can ensure consumers understand the important role they play in minimizing the impacts associated with the product’s lifecycle.”

 

About the Research
The 2013 Cone Communications Green Gap Trend Tracker presents the findings of an online survey conducted March 7-10, 2013 by ORC International among a demographically representative sample of 1,068 adults, comprising 552 men and 516 women 18 years of age and older. The margin of error associated with a sample of this size is ± 3 percent at a 95 percent level of confidence. Some figures may not add up to 100 percent due to rounding.

 

Source: Cone Communications

 

 







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Consumers take responsibility for ‘green’ actions…






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Posted by Rick Lingle, Technical Editor — Packaging Digest, 4/3/2013 4:11:07 PM





Cone Study

 

Earth Day may be just around the corner, but consumers are buying with an eye toward “green” all year long. A record-high 71 percent of Americans consider the environment when they shop, up from 66 percent in 2008. Additionally, nearly half (45 percent) of consumers actively seek out environmental information about the products they buy, according to the five-year benchmark of the 2013 Cone Communications Green Gap Trend Tracker.

 

Accountability versus action

 

Even as “green” becomes increasingly top of mind, Americans still struggle with their role in the lifecycle of products with an environmental benefit. Nine-in-10 said they believe it’s their responsibility to properly use and dispose of these products, but action isn’t aligning with intent:

 

  • Only 30 percent say they often use products in a way that achieves the intended environmental benefit
  • 42 percent say they dispose of products in a way that fulfills the intended environmental benefit

 

Despite the lack of consistent follow-through, consumers are showing an inclination to learn more. Americans report they regularly read and follow instructions on how to properly use (71 percent) or dispose (66 percent) of a product. Forty-one percent said they perform additional research to determine how best to utilize and discard a product for maximum benefit.

 

Closing the gap: access and communications

Nearly all respondents (85 percent) want companies to educate them on how to properly use and dispose of products. But they identify significant barriers to doing so, as well. One-third of consumers (33 percent) cited not having the adequate resources, such as disposal bins and community access, as the primary reason for not disposing or using products as intended, while 20 percent stated they simply do not know how to do so.

Consumer understanding of environmental messages also presents an obstacle. Although more than 60 percent of respondents say they understand the environmental terms companies use in their advertising, the majority continue to erroneously believe common expressions such as “green” or “environmentally friendly” mean a product has a positive (40 percent) or neutral (22 percent) impact on the environment. Fewer were able to correctly identify these terms as meaning the product has a lighter impact than other similar products (22 percent) or less than it used to (2 percent). Despite the attention given to product development and environmental marketing, consumer misunderstanding of “green” claims has remained flat at around 60 percent since 2008.

 

“The new green gap is about consumers only taking the idea of responsibility so far, despite feeling responsible for proper use and disposal,” says Liz Gorman, Cone Communications’ senior vice president of Sustainable Business Practices. “They’re buying with the environment in mind, but they rely on companies to provide access and education to truly ‘close the loop.’”

 

Honesty and clarity trump perfection

Almost three-quarters (71 percent) of consumers wish companies would do a better job helping them understand environmental terms. Although they feel overwhelmed by the volume of messages in the marketplace, consumers prioritize authenticity over perfection and will punish companies if they feel misled:

  • 48 percent say they are overwhelmed by environmental messages
  • 69 percent say it’s okay if a company is not environmentally perfect as long as it is honest
  • 78 percent say they will boycott a product if they discover an environmental claim to be misleading

 

When it comes to finding those environmental messages, consumers are primarily looking on the product itself, signaling prime real estate for companies looking to communicate important environmental information:

  • 45 percent say they are most likely to use on-pack resources for information about how to properly use and dispose of environmental products
  • 26 percent say they are most likely to use an online search

 

“Consumers are ready to follow through on the intended use or disposal of environmentally preferred products, but they need companies’ help,” Gorman explains. “This is the next evolution of environmental marketing. Clear and candid communication can ensure consumers understand the important role they play in minimizing the impacts associated with the product’s lifecycle.”

 

About the Research
The 2013 Cone Communications Green Gap Trend Tracker presents the findings of an online survey conducted March 7-10, 2013 by ORC International among a demographically representative sample of 1,068 adults, comprising 552 men and 516 women 18 years of age and older. The margin of error associated with a sample of this size is ± 3 percent at a 95 percent level of confidence. Some figures may not add up to 100 percent due to rounding.

 

Source: Cone Communications

 

 







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Consumers take responsibility for ‘green’ actions…






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Posted by Rick Lingle, Technical Editor — Packaging Digest, 4/3/2013 4:11:07 PM





Cone Study

 

Earth Day may be just around the corner, but consumers are buying with an eye toward “green” all year long. A record-high 71 percent of Americans consider the environment when they shop, up from 66 percent in 2008. Additionally, nearly half (45 percent) of consumers actively seek out environmental information about the products they buy, according to the five-year benchmark of the 2013 Cone Communications Green Gap Trend Tracker.

 

Accountability versus action

 

Even as “green” becomes increasingly top of mind, Americans still struggle with their role in the lifecycle of products with an environmental benefit. Nine-in-10 said they believe it’s their responsibility to properly use and dispose of these products, but action isn’t aligning with intent:

 

  • Only 30 percent say they often use products in a way that achieves the intended environmental benefit
  • 42 percent say they dispose of products in a way that fulfills the intended environmental benefit

 

Despite the lack of consistent follow-through, consumers are showing an inclination to learn more. Americans report they regularly read and follow instructions on how to properly use (71 percent) or dispose (66 percent) of a product. Forty-one percent said they perform additional research to determine how best to utilize and discard a product for maximum benefit.

 

Closing the gap: access and communications

Nearly all respondents (85 percent) want companies to educate them on how to properly use and dispose of products. But they identify significant barriers to doing so, as well. One-third of consumers (33 percent) cited not having the adequate resources, such as disposal bins and community access, as the primary reason for not disposing or using products as intended, while 20 percent stated they simply do not know how to do so.

Consumer understanding of environmental messages also presents an obstacle. Although more than 60 percent of respondents say they understand the environmental terms companies use in their advertising, the majority continue to erroneously believe common expressions such as “green” or “environmentally friendly” mean a product has a positive (40 percent) or neutral (22 percent) impact on the environment. Fewer were able to correctly identify these terms as meaning the product has a lighter impact than other similar products (22 percent) or less than it used to (2 percent). Despite the attention given to product development and environmental marketing, consumer misunderstanding of “green” claims has remained flat at around 60 percent since 2008.

 

“The new green gap is about consumers only taking the idea of responsibility so far, despite feeling responsible for proper use and disposal,” says Liz Gorman, Cone Communications’ senior vice president of Sustainable Business Practices. “They’re buying with the environment in mind, but they rely on companies to provide access and education to truly ‘close the loop.’”

 

Honesty and clarity trump perfection

Almost three-quarters (71 percent) of consumers wish companies would do a better job helping them understand environmental terms. Although they feel overwhelmed by the volume of messages in the marketplace, consumers prioritize authenticity over perfection and will punish companies if they feel misled:

  • 48 percent say they are overwhelmed by environmental messages
  • 69 percent say it’s okay if a company is not environmentally perfect as long as it is honest
  • 78 percent say they will boycott a product if they discover an environmental claim to be misleading

 

When it comes to finding those environmental messages, consumers are primarily looking on the product itself, signaling prime real estate for companies looking to communicate important environmental information:

  • 45 percent say they are most likely to use on-pack resources for information about how to properly use and dispose of environmental products
  • 26 percent say they are most likely to use an online search

 

“Consumers are ready to follow through on the intended use or disposal of environmentally preferred products, but they need companies’ help,” Gorman explains. “This is the next evolution of environmental marketing. Clear and candid communication can ensure consumers understand the important role they play in minimizing the impacts associated with the product’s lifecycle.”

 

About the Research
The 2013 Cone Communications Green Gap Trend Tracker presents the findings of an online survey conducted March 7-10, 2013 by ORC International among a demographically representative sample of 1,068 adults, comprising 552 men and 516 women 18 years of age and older. The margin of error associated with a sample of this size is ± 3 percent at a 95 percent level of confidence. Some figures may not add up to 100 percent due to rounding.

 

Source: Cone Communications

 

 







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Consumers take responsibility for ‘green’ actions…






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Posted by Rick Lingle, Technical Editor — Packaging Digest, 4/3/2013 4:11:07 PM





Cone Study

 

Earth Day may be just around the corner, but consumers are buying with an eye toward “green” all year long. A record-high 71 percent of Americans consider the environment when they shop, up from 66 percent in 2008. Additionally, nearly half (45 percent) of consumers actively seek out environmental information about the products they buy, according to the five-year benchmark of the 2013 Cone Communications Green Gap Trend Tracker.

 

Accountability versus action

 

Even as “green” becomes increasingly top of mind, Americans still struggle with their role in the lifecycle of products with an environmental benefit. Nine-in-10 said they believe it’s their responsibility to properly use and dispose of these products, but action isn’t aligning with intent:

 

  • Only 30 percent say they often use products in a way that achieves the intended environmental benefit
  • 42 percent say they dispose of products in a way that fulfills the intended environmental benefit

 

Despite the lack of consistent follow-through, consumers are showing an inclination to learn more. Americans report they regularly read and follow instructions on how to properly use (71 percent) or dispose (66 percent) of a product. Forty-one percent said they perform additional research to determine how best to utilize and discard a product for maximum benefit.

 

Closing the gap: access and communications

Nearly all respondents (85 percent) want companies to educate them on how to properly use and dispose of products. But they identify significant barriers to doing so, as well. One-third of consumers (33 percent) cited not having the adequate resources, such as disposal bins and community access, as the primary reason for not disposing or using products as intended, while 20 percent stated they simply do not know how to do so.

Consumer understanding of environmental messages also presents an obstacle. Although more than 60 percent of respondents say they understand the environmental terms companies use in their advertising, the majority continue to erroneously believe common expressions such as “green” or “environmentally friendly” mean a product has a positive (40 percent) or neutral (22 percent) impact on the environment. Fewer were able to correctly identify these terms as meaning the product has a lighter impact than other similar products (22 percent) or less than it used to (2 percent). Despite the attention given to product development and environmental marketing, consumer misunderstanding of “green” claims has remained flat at around 60 percent since 2008.

 

“The new green gap is about consumers only taking the idea of responsibility so far, despite feeling responsible for proper use and disposal,” says Liz Gorman, Cone Communications’ senior vice president of Sustainable Business Practices. “They’re buying with the environment in mind, but they rely on companies to provide access and education to truly ‘close the loop.’”

 

Honesty and clarity trump perfection

Almost three-quarters (71 percent) of consumers wish companies would do a better job helping them understand environmental terms. Although they feel overwhelmed by the volume of messages in the marketplace, consumers prioritize authenticity over perfection and will punish companies if they feel misled:

  • 48 percent say they are overwhelmed by environmental messages
  • 69 percent say it’s okay if a company is not environmentally perfect as long as it is honest
  • 78 percent say they will boycott a product if they discover an environmental claim to be misleading

 

When it comes to finding those environmental messages, consumers are primarily looking on the product itself, signaling prime real estate for companies looking to communicate important environmental information:

  • 45 percent say they are most likely to use on-pack resources for information about how to properly use and dispose of environmental products
  • 26 percent say they are most likely to use an online search

 

“Consumers are ready to follow through on the intended use or disposal of environmentally preferred products, but they need companies’ help,” Gorman explains. “This is the next evolution of environmental marketing. Clear and candid communication can ensure consumers understand the important role they play in minimizing the impacts associated with the product’s lifecycle.”

 

About the Research
The 2013 Cone Communications Green Gap Trend Tracker presents the findings of an online survey conducted March 7-10, 2013 by ORC International among a demographically representative sample of 1,068 adults, comprising 552 men and 516 women 18 years of age and older. The margin of error associated with a sample of this size is ± 3 percent at a 95 percent level of confidence. Some figures may not add up to 100 percent due to rounding.

 

Source: Cone Communications

 

 







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Source Article from http://www.packagingdigest.com/article/523178-Consumers_take_responsibility_for_green_actions_.php?rssid=20538

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