We found that consumers need to understand sustainable claims.
Consumers are increasingly searching for information about the sustainability of packaging on products they buy, butfind sustainability claims not clear enough. They are often confused by the wide range of sustainability callouts, labels, and features on products.
Although they can be confused by unclear labeling at times, most consumers still have a strong trust in all sustainable claims. This demonstrates their possible willingness to purchase more sustainable products over non-sustainable options, even if they don’t fully understand how the product benefits the environment.
Consumers value certain sustainable packaging claims more than others, which can influence their purchases. They tend to choose products that have actionable, simple, and relatable claims such as “refillable” or “recyclable”. These types of claims help consumers feel a sense of fulfilment and contribution to the greater good, compared with more nuanced, scientific claims such as “made with sustainable materials” or “products with lower CO2 emissions”.
Reflective of this, consumers across all regions prioritize products that list “recyclable” as a claim over those labeled with “made with recycled content”.
When it comes to recyclability, some packaging materials can make even stronger claims, such as being “infinitely recyclable”.
Metal can be recycled again and again without degradation of the material. When a metal product reaches the end of its useful life, the material is never lost. Through recycling, its value is retained forever, making it available today and for future generations. In fact, 80% of all metal ever produced* is still in use today.
In March 2023, the European Commission proposed a new “Directive on Green Claims”, aimed at making sustainable claims more reliable, through science-backed verification. By default, the proposed new law will allow consumers to make more informed decisions on their purchases. It will also improve competition between brands by holding them accountable.
As Europe aims to change the way sustainability claims are developed and promoted, North and South America have yet to set any standards for more truthful claims and outcomes, beyond the US’s FTC Green Guides intended to provide guidance to companies when approaching claims around sustainability.