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Canadians willing to pay more for sustainable packaging: APP Canada survey

November 7, 2019  By P&PC Staff

Sustainably sourced packaged material is becoming increasingly important in Canadians’ purchasing decisions, with 62 per cent of Canadians willing to pay more for such products according to a new survey conducted by Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) Canada.

According to APP Canada’s third annual Attitudes Towards Sustainability report, 74 per cent of Canadians consider sustainability an important factor when making purchases. This trend was particularly reflected in food packaging where a majority of Canadian adults (62 per cent) were willing to pay more for products packaged in sustainable materials, with 40 per cent saying they would be open to paying up to 10 per cent more.

“Canadians, especially adults between the age of 18 and 34, clearly value brands that are invested in sustainability and it is encouraging to see the demand for high-quality eco-friendly products and packaging,” says Ian Lifshitz, vice-president of sustainability and stakeholder relations at Asia Pulp & Paper Canada. “This is what pushes the industry to stay focused on innovation and develop new merchandise supported by fully sustainable supply chains.”


The sustainability survey was administered online in August 2019 among a representative sample of 1,003 Canadian adults by Engine CARAVAN Surveys. Data was statistically weighted by age, gender and geographic region to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the Canadian population, 18 years of age and older.

While the survey indicated sustainability is most important to Canadians when making purchasing decisions related to food packaging (63 per cent), it is also important to over half of consumers when buying retail goods (56 per cent) and office goods (53 per cent).

“When asked who was responsible for improving sustainability, roughly half (49 per cent) of consumers felt individuals themselves played an important role,” says Lifshitz. “That’s a lot of people feeling empowered to affect change without waiting for governments or brands to take the lead. This tells me that our industry must continue to innovate and offer alternative solutions.”

Regardless of who Canadians felt was responsible for change, almost the entire nation demonstrated a commitment to act. Ninety-seven per cent engaged in some form of sustainable activity such as recycling (90 per cent), using reusable food containers or shopping bags (79 per cent) and limiting use of single-use plastics like straws and cutlery (66 per cent). Other sustainable activities included printing less paper (56 per cent) and composting (48 per cent).

“There is a definite global shift in purchasing sustainable products and Canada is no different,” says Richard Tomasco, vice-president, Engine CARAVAN Surveys. “Canadian consumers clearly place a high value on sustainability and recognize the collective role they can play to address the environmental issues our planet faces today.”

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