Stora Enso study finds European consumers open to reusable packaging but unsure about applications

Latest consumer research from Stora Enso suggests that while a majority of European consumers hold a positive view on reusable packaging (77%), most express concerns about packaging cleanliness (78%) and only 30% fully understand the concept, highlighting a challenge for brand owners and retailers.

Stora Enso, a leading provider of renewable products in packaging, biomaterials, and wooden construction, has released consumer study findings that show consumers hold favorable views of reusable packaging, but do not yet fully understand how the systems function. In an effort to spotlight the importance of renewable and circular packaging solutions, the research aims to outline consumers’ understanding of sustainable packaging solutions and materials. Despite positive impressions, many consumers lack clarity on its definition with confusion around reusing at home or retailer refill stations. When asked in more detail, consumers also expressed reservations about packaging cleanliness and convenience.

The survey, conducted by Division Packaging Materials, reveals that 78% of respondents would be worried about hygiene if a product was packaged in a reusable container, and over one-fifth (22%) agreed it would take too much effort to return packaging to the point of purchase, highlighting some of the obstacles to adoption. In the same vein, the research also finds that recyclable carton packaging solutions are the preferred option for many consumers with over half of respondents favoring this material due to its recyclability (51%) and ease of recycling (52%). Most consumers (75%) view recycling packaging as a form of reuse, especially true with everyday items that are recycled at scale, such as paper.

Over 7,000 consumers aged between 18 and 64 responded to the survey, spread across the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Poland and Sweden. Stora Enso’s full report can be found here.

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