New research carried out in Australia reveals a gap between good intentions on green issues and a willingness to pay extra for eco-friendly products. 

The study, carried out by Mintel, shows that the current  global movement towards the banning of plastics is an initiative that resonates well with today’s Australians. The study reveals that a third of urban Australians prefer to buy products that are sold in eco-friendly packaging (32%), as well as produced using sustainable sourcing methods (34%).
Shelley McMillan, Associate Consulting Director, ANZ, at Mintel, said: “Across the globe, the need for more sustainable and environmentally friendly products is on an upward trend, with plastic reduction in particular top of mind. Today, we are seeing major retailers and brands across Australia and New Zealand joining hands with the rest of the world in tackling one of the biggest environmental issues globally. Retailers and brands from across categories are either replacing or removing plastic and are communicating their commitment towards saving the environment. This sits well in Australia and New Zealand, especially as our research indicates that consumers are on the road to a more sustainable and environmental future.”
But good intentions aside, just 17% of urban Australian consumers are apparently willing to pay a premium price for everyday goods that are environmentally friendly. Furthermore, a mere 12% say that helping to protect the environment (eg using fewer plastic bags) contributes to a healthy lifestyle. On the other hand, as many as one in three (34%) urban Australians say that it is important for a brand to be sustainable.
David Luttenburger, global packaging director at Mintel, says that consumers want to see brands to take the lead on the issue. “Consumers, today, put the onus on brands to do more to protect the environment as they believe brands will have a greater impact than consumers alone. With demand for plastic packaging expected to double in the next two decades, a balanced and factual approach toward use and disposal, as well as consumer education on both, is a much-needed first step in learning how to live responsibly with plastic packaging.”