Plastic debate: Price and convenience still outweigh consumers’ willingness to go ‘naked’

Marketing Week 12 Feb 2019 07:00
Coco Di Mama replaced plastic straws with a pasta alternative called the #Pastraw

Brands big and small are working to reduce the amount of plastic they use instead offering ‘naked’ alternatives, such as loose fruit or unwrapped greetings cards, but new research suggests they’ve got a long way to go to convince consumers to make the switch.

Consumers have been quick to jump on the anti-plastic bandwagon, in part thanks to shows like the BBC’s Blue Planet II. However, if making a sustainable choice is going to cost more or be less convenient, brands will struggle to encourage people to take the eco-friendly option.

Because while 92.4% of consumers are ‘glad’ brands offer naked products, the majority (60.4%) will only take the sustainable route if it’s just as easy to buy and the price is the same, according to a survey of UK consumers conducted for Marketing Week by Toluna.

Just 14.6% say they will purchase the naked version no matter the price and convenience, while 8.6% will stick with the usual version they purchase.

The idea for a pasta straw stemmed from a meeting where an employee suggested using a type of long hollow pasta called bucatini.

According to the company’s brand director Scott Corbett, the stationary chain is still working on its broader sustainability strategy but is adamant it has a solid plan in place.

“Our biggest marketing tool is our staff. They’re so passionate and we simply provide those staff with the tools to tell that story and really trust in them that they will do that,” she says.

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PaperchaseScott CorbettCharlotte NisbetLush CosmeticsSara McCraight
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