C2 Background
Coronavirus increases consumers' environmental concerns, according to new study

16.12.2021 Since the coronavirus pandemic and the positive impact of the global lockdowns on the state of the environment, thousands of Germans have changed their behaviour due to heightened concerns about climate change.

Winfried Mühling, general manager of ProCarton.
© Photo: ProCarton
Winfried Mühling, general manager of ProCarton.

This is according to a new study by Perspectus Global, commissioned by Pro Carton, the European Association of the Cartonboard and Folding Carton Industry. More than a third (38%) of German consumers surveyed said their concerns about the environment had increased with the covid pandemic.

Consumers recycle more often

The survey was conducted in France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Austria, Turkey, Poland, Benelux and the UK among 7,051 Europeans one year after the first coronavirus case occurred in Wuhan, China. Of the 1,005 adult consumers surveyed in Germany, almost half (45%) said they now recycle more than they did the previous year. In addition, two out of five consumers (40 %) have taken steps to reduce their water consumption.

The environmental impact of packaging has also played a role in changing consumer behaviour and many have changed their shopping habits in this regard since the outbreak of the pandemic. More than 6 in 10 consumers (62%) in Germany said that the environmental impact of packaging influenced their purchasing decisions, and only 11% said that their purchasing decisions were unaffected.

Almost half (48 %) of the consumers said that they buy products in environmentally friendly packaging more often since the pandemic. The majority (77 %) even stated that they would choose a folding box or packaging made of cardboard instead of plastic when buying the same product.

Regenerative effect of global lockdowns

Winfried Mühling, General Manager of Pro Carton, said: "This survey was conducted at a very interesting time, when consumers could clearly see the regenerative effect global lockdowns and a reduction of human activities can have on the health of the environment. It's great that we're getting back to normal, but this has and will leave a lasting impression in terms of consumer behaviour and concern for the environment."

"The survey clearly shows that consumers are looking for ways to live more sustainably, including when they shop. Therefore, I have no doubt that cardboard is becoming the preferred packaging material that is renewable, recyclable and biodegradable, with clear benefits in protecting our planet for future generations."