Price and convenience are more important to shoppers than sustainability

Sustainability is still way down consumers’ list of priorities when shopping, according to a study.

Price, convenience and the brand behind the product are all more important to adults when deciding whether or not to open their wallets.

Despite this, 62 per cent of the 2,000 adults polled said being green has become more of a consideration during the past five years.

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

Almost six in 10 (58 per cent) also said packaging influences their purchase decision, with 69 per cent consciously buying items which have less packaging – if there’s a choice.

Is sustainability important Picture by SWNS

Andy Barnetson of Beyond the Box, which commissioned the research, said: “It is encouraging to see the number of adults looking to be more sustainable when it comes to their weekly shop – particularly as many of us hit the supermarket aisles on autopilot, with our shopping lists primed.

“However, for those seeking positive changes, it is important to ensure sustainability is at least a consideration during the purchase process.

“A good way to do this is to reflect on the materials used to package products when you are browsing the supermarket shelves.

“Consider the packaging and opt for those items which are wrapped in materials which are widely recyclable, such as paper-based materials like cardboard.”

The study also found the average adult estimates 38 per cent of the groceries they purchase are eco-friendly – along with 23 per cent of gadgets and 32 per cent of clothes bought.

And food is the main area in which they actively try to shop sustainably (55 per cent), ahead of clothing (31 per cent), cleaning products (26 per cent) and gardening supplies (18 per cent).

However, 17 per cent said they simply can’t afford to shop sustainably and 23 per cent also believe that green produce is too expensive for most people.

It also emerged a lack of knowledge is stopping people from being more eco-friendly – with 45 per cent admitting they don’t know what the recycling logos found on many household items actually mean.

And the amount of packaging used is also a hindrance with 81 per cent believing shop-bought items are ‘still’ over-packaged.

The Beyond the Box study carried out through OnePoll found just a third of those polled consider themselves to be green.

But this figure could be higher as 75 per cent said they could be ‘much more’ sustainable if more companies made their packaging eco-friendly.

Andy Barnetson added: “These decisive results suggest there is a strong desire among many of those polled to be greener, whether that’s when they’re at home or out and about.

“But sustainability isn’t just the responsibility of big brands and supermarkets – we’ve all got an important part to play.

“We’d urge everyone to choose sustainable packaging materials where they can and make recycling this packaging a big priority.”

A message from the Editor, Gary Shipton:

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news, I am asking you to please purchase a copy of our newspapers.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspapers.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.

Stay safe, and best wishes.