We know growing awareness of environmental hazards and climate change means that consumers’ attitudes are changing and they are demanding more recyclable materials and less waste. This is pressuring retailers to use less packaging or focus on recycled and reusable materials.
In 2017, Iceland announced that it would become the first major retailer to stop using plastic in its own brand products, following the announcement of government plans to end the use of non-essential plastic in the UK by 2042.
This migration away from single-use packaging has been hampered, however, by the low price of oil which has resulted in virgin plastics becoming cheaper.
In 2017, the UK packaging market sped up slightly due to the strong export market, attributed to the weak sterling following the Brexit referendum, particularly in the paper and card segment. Online retail orders and parcel deliveries have also kept this side of the market buoyant, where the lack of alternatives limits buyer power.