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Paperboard and Cardboard Packaging Comes Out on Top for Environmental Friendliness

Two Sides is a global not-for-profit industry campaign to promote the sustainability, attractiveness and effectiveness of paper and cardboard packaging.

With increasing media attention and consumer concern on packaging, avoidable plastic waste and a move towards a circular economy, a poll, conducted by Two Sides and international research agency Toluna, revealed a strong preference for paper and cardboard packaging amongst UK consumers. 

A nationally representative survey of 500 UK adults in 2018, found paper and cardboard to be the most preferred packaging material for environmental friendliness, recyclability and practicality. 

Paper and cardboard received the highest score for being; better for the environment and easier to recycle and, in terms of practicality, easier to open and close, easier to store, lighter weight, more practical, and safer to use.

On environment specifically: 

  • 78% like paper and cardboard packaging because it is biodegradable
  • 73% believe paper and cardboard packaging makes good use of recycled materials
  • 64% like paper and cardboard packaging because it is made from renewable wood fibre

The survey also revealed significant consumer concerns about packaging in general. 85% believe packaging is a significant source of litter, 84% believe over-packaging is a problem, and 71% believe packaging is bad for the environment. Coffee cups, plastic bottles, chocolate bar wrappers, crisp packets and takeaway packaging were all perceived to be the most significant causes of litter. 

Paper and cardboard packaging is durable, renewable, recyclable and will be an essential material as we move towards a regenerative, circular economy, as outlined in the UK Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan.

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