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Editor in chief:
CLARA MOSCHINI

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Large Consumption Packaging Observatory

New evolutionary scenarios presented by Nomisma

The Nomisma survey conducted on over 1,000 consumers aged 18 to 65, presented today on the occasion of the third appointment of the Largo Consumo packaging observatory, reveals how the health emergency has not shifted the focus of Italians from environmental aspects: if for 27% were and will remain a priority, 33% even increased the importance attributed to “green” issues compared to 4% which, on the other hand, decreased the attention paid to the environment. Environment and climate change (cited by 38% of Italians) is the third aspect towards which the commitment of civil society and the political class in the next 3-5 years should focus, behind areas such as work and employment (70%) and health and healthcare (66%). A further 19% also want the efforts of the whole society to go in the direction of sustainable development. The scenario within which we are moving is that of the hope of a green restart, which will allow the economic and employment recovery of the country without setting aside environmental protection. A position that appears even clearer if we consider that 6 out of 10 Italians say they are concerned about climate change, 46% for the issue of waste production and disposal and 41% for air pollution. The presence of microplastics in food and drinks is instead an environmental aspect that worries 35% of Italians.

What are Italians willing to do to safeguard the future of the environment? The propensity is that of an increasingly green approach to lifestyles and consumption behaviors. And if in the next 12 months those who regularly prefer green means of transport grow by 15 percentage points (going from 24% of those who already do so today to 39% of those who will do so in the next 12 months), the share of who will reduce food waste (against 76% of those who already do it). The topic of energy saving is also important: 73% will regularly use appliances with low consumption programs. Also from the point of view of purchasing behavior, the attention towards the environmental protection of Italians is clear, both expressed through the purchase of products made with sustainable methods (54% will do so regularly in the next 12 months), local and km0 ( consistently preferred by 50% of Italians) or organic brand food (whose share of frequent users will reach 51% in 2021). The purchase of products with little packaging (a choice that within a year will become the norm for 65% of purchasing managers) or those with sustainable packaging (decision which in 2021 will be carried out consistently by 59% of Italians, against 45% of those who already do it).

4 the macro-aspects that according to consumers help to define the sustainability of a food product: first of all, with a weight of 34%, the production methods, followed by the characteristics of the packaging (a factor that affects 33%), aspects more related to the issues of the supply chain and the origin of raw materials (22%) and ethical and social responsibility (13%). Packaging is therefore confirmed as an attribute capable of defining and affecting the perception of the sustainability of a food product. Not only that, 47% of Italians identify as the main function of packaging "to help define the sustainability of the product". Role that follows the more traditional and fundamental functions of conservation (66%) and protection of the organoleptic properties of the products (60%). 1 out of 4 Italians identified the presence of sustainable packaging as the main driver of choice of food products (26% in the case of products intended for home care and personal hygiene). In the last 6 months, 14% of Italians have stopped buying products due to packaging that did not have elements of sustainability. Among the characteristics of the materials in the pack that have the greatest impact on purchasing choices: absence of overpackaging (55%), recyclability (43%), presence of raw materials deriving from renewable sources or with reduced CO2 emissions (43%). Also important is the presence of compostable or biodegradable material (41%) and the complete absence of plastic (32%). Only 7% of Italians did not pay attention to the packaging material in the purchase deed.

However, Italians are not yet ready to pay a mark up to have a green pack: 53% declare a willingness to pay nothing or almost nothing. To seek information on the green aspects of products, Italians read the labels (a tool used by 75% of Italians) or get information online (20%), but 26% still consider the information available to be insufficient and a further 64% would like to know more. Among the most appreciated and considered most useful indications are those on: packaging recycling methods (very important or important for 8 out of 10 Italians), percentage of pack material coming from renewable sources (75%), reduced quantity of plastic or no longer used to produce that packaging (70%) and CO2 emissions saved for the production of the pack (61%).

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EFA News - European Food Agency
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