Consumers want businesses to be more sustainable – by using more recyclable packaging

Using recyclable packaging, more renewable energy, and less plastic, are the top things that consumers want to see companies doing in a bid to act more sustainably, research has found.

More than three-quarters (76%), of 2,000 adults polled, said that sustainability and climate change are important to them – with six in ten wanting businesses to show these things are important to them, too.

Over a third are calling for companies to use more sustainable products (38%), more recycling bins (37%), and refillable items (36%).

But only a quarter (26%) believe that businesses which are already taking green actions are doing so out of a desire to help the planet – with 56% saying too many companies are “greenwashing” for marketing purposes.

Many also felt the motives for becoming more sustainable were self-serving – with wanting to be seen as doing their bit (39%), and as a market leader (34%), ranking among the top reasons people believe companies want to appear sustainable, while a third felt wanting to save money in the long run was a factor.

Mark Jankovich, CEO of Delphis Eco, which commissioned the study, said: “It’s encouraging to see just how important and valued most people are when it comes to our planet.

“The collective responsibility which many of us feel is fantastic to see, and shows there’s a real appetite for sustainability.

“Changing perceptions around recycling and raising awareness is something we are looking to do – it’s never too late to learn.”

The research also found 45% of those polled felt businesses are not doing enough to improve their sustainability footprint.

However, smaller businesses (31%) are considered more proactive than big businesses (22%).

It also emerged vegetables, fruit, and cleaning products (all 19%) are the items shoppers are most likely to ensure they buy from a sustainable source.

Eggs (19%), drinks bottles (17%), and clothes (17%) also featured high on the list.

But 55% think every individual’s actions has an impact on the planet.

And while half of respondents (49%) would like to do more for the planet, 63% claimed they would be more sustainable if only it were more affordable.

However, when it comes to making environmentally friendly choices, just 17% of those polled, via OnePoll, always recycle, while 35% do it often.

And one in 20 admitted they never make environmentally friendly choices.

A spokesman for Delphis Eco added: “Consumers can only buy what is available to them, so it’s important we give them options.

“We want to make sure we are doing all we can, by ensuring we’re leading by example.

“We’re offering refills on a range of our products, which mean we’re using less plastic, which is ultimately a good thing for our planet.

“It may mean less margin for us, but ultimately it’s the right thing to do. How can we expect consumers help out if we aren’t doing our bit too?”


  1. Use recyclable packaging
  2. Use less plastic
  3. Use renewable energy
  4. Use products which are more sustainable
  5. Have more recycling bins in place
  6. Offer refillable products
  7. Recycle electronics
  8. Use reusable shopping bags
  9. Plant trees
  10. Provide more information about how products are sourced
  11. Use green cleaning products
  12. Stop investing in fossil fuels
  13. Choose to partner and work with other sustainable businesses
  14. Donate more to environmental charities
  15. Use cycle to work schemes