A recent poll shows consumers would react positively to companies increasing the amount of glass they use in packaging and other materials.
A poll commissioned by the Glass Packaging Institute (GPI) to measure opinions toward glass sustainability shows that consumers look positively at glass packaging because of the material’s environmental benefits, especially recyclability. Sustainable packaging, especially in consideration of hard-to-recycle and single-use plastics is a growing priority across industries.
The survey finds that 92% of respondents say they would feel positively toward a company that offered more glass packaging. Nearly a quarter of respondents say they would like more companies to offer food and beverage products in glass packaging.
Glass is 100% recyclable, according to the GPI, and glass is recycled at a fairly significant 40% rate in food and beverage containers, such as bottles and jars. The GPI says glass can be used as a substitute for 95% of raw materials.
According to the survey, 76% of respondents were familiar with the fact that glass is infinitely recyclable. Nearly three in five of the respondents say that knowing that glass is 100% recyclable could make them change their purchasing behavior.
A separate survey conducted recently by Ball found recyclable and reusable materials are the most important attributes consumers are looking for in packaging. That survey looked at aluminum, glass, plastic, and cardboard packaging.
That survey shows users were favorable to glass as packaging and were familiar with its sustainable qualities. Yet there were concerns about its durability as well as safety, which made the material impractical for household and personal care packaging, the report says.
Companies are looking for a variety of ways to make packaging more sustainable. Mondi, for example, is using a cooler bag made from pulp packaging, which can be used to transport cold goods. Driven by the demand for recyclable materials, the green packaging market is expected to grow to nearly $452 billion by 2028, according to a report from Research Drive.
Glass recycling programs have also gained increased visibility such as a program in the Chicago area from beverage company Smirnoff to increase discarded glass collection and turn that into new bottles. The company has a goal to ensure all its packaging is widely recyclable by 2030.
GPI says the container and fiberglass industry purchases 3.35 million pounds of recycled glass a year. The institute says some recycled glass can’t be used again in packaging because it may be contaminated, or pieces are too small to make new packaging materials. That glass can be used for non-container uses such as tile or concrete materials.
“Consumers want and expect more out of brands when it comes to sustainable packaging, and brands should include more glass options in their portfolio or risk alienating important customer segments,” says GPI President Scott DeFife.