There is a broad shift underway at major U.S. corporations to reduce waste. The sourcing and 'endlife' of packaging will become significantly more relevant as the product life cycle and waste impact are becoming a stronger part of consumers' purchase decisions. Consumers are also becoming more concerned with chemicals in packaging that can leach into the product. Changing the type of packaging material is one answer to reducing the environmental impact of packaging, but a simpler, more immediate response is to reduce the amount of packaging. Certainly, such efforts need to be balanced against consumers' undying interest in convenience, which tends to come with a single-use or single-serving mentality.
PROLIFERATION OF PLASTIC
With images of "plastic islands" growing in the oceans and plastic products destroying wildlife, it's not surprising that consumer perception regarding plastic products has been declining while also re-shaping behavior over the past several years. A good example of consumer behavior change is the increase in the number of consumers who take a reusable shopping bag to the grocery store every week, rising from 17% of consumers in 2005 to 54% in 2018. Three-quarters of LOHAS consumers even go so far as to say plastic grocery bags should be banned... and their voice is being heard as corporations and governments are passing laws to ban not only plastic bags but many single-use items such as straws and plastic cups.
KNOW YOUR SEGMENT
Specific consumer segments in the population exhibit various shades of green that are led by the "greenest" segment, the LOHAS segment, who is integral in driving sustainability to the mainstream. Each consumer segment engages in sustainability at different levels and varying degrees. Therefore, it is important to understand the segment which is your best consumer target when doing business in the sustainability market.