Footprint study finds consumers want plastic packaging replaced with sustainable options

Apr 20, 2022, 4:35 AM | Updated: 1:11 pm

(Facebook Photo/Footprint)...

(Facebook Photo/Footprint)

(Facebook Photo/Footprint)

PHOENIX — A study conducted on behalf of Footprint found consumers want businesses to replace plastic packaging with more sustainable options.

The Gilbert-based materials science company that has a goal to reduce single-use plastic teamed up with Wunderman Thompson Intelligence to conduct the study that discovered the attitudes of consumers of all ages, not only here in the United States but across the world, when it comes to sustainability.

The study found 72% of those surveyed are dissatisfied with the amount of plastic food packaging waste they end up with at home, and that 87% thought companies have a responsibility to protect the planet and its people.

“We were really curious to find out what people think about sustainability and what they think about it as it relates to human health, what they think about it as it relates to environmental health,” Heather Knox, senior vice president of communications for Footprint, told KTAR News 92.3 FM.

“It was important for us to understand what do they really think about today and what are they willing to do about it.”

Knox said the big takeaway was consumers feel businesses have the responsibility to offer more sustainable options.

“For a long time there’s been a pressure put on the end consumer to do the right thing … but consumers are saying it’s the companies that have the responsibility to give us better choices,” she said.

The study found that 80% of respondents believe restaurants need to act faster and get rid of plastic packaging and utensils, which Knox said some have already begun to do by asking if people need cutlery.

“That’s in response to consumers and what progressive organizations, restaurants, food companies are starting to do,” she said.

It was also found that 86% of respondents think grocery stores should work on reducing the amount of plastic packaging being sold.

Knox said this could be difficult as stores might be able to reduce single-use plastic with their own packaging, but grocery stores receive items from companies that may not offer those sustainable options.

“It’s going to take time for all of those things to start to change, but consumers are saying we’re looking to you and expecting you to do that,” she said.

Sustainability is important to consumers, the study found, as more than half stated a willingness to pay more for products if it helps protect the environment and choose a brand, store or restaurant that uses sustainable packaging.

“If you’re a store or if you’re a brand and you’re customers are starting to make choices based on the packaging, that’s a pretty big message that this is no longer optional, this is really something consumers care a whole lot about,” Knox said.

She added the passion for sustainability and protecting the environment was true across generational lines of those surveyed.

“Where people think sometimes this is just young people who really care about this, the data actually showed, no, it’s more than just young people who care about this too,” she said.

The study also found customers when buying products packaged in plastic felt guilty or annoyed.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Sean Bickings (Family Photo via city of Tempe)...

Associated Press

Family of man who drowned last year in Tempe Town Lake files wrongful death lawsuit

The family of a man who drowned in Tempe Town Lake a year ago filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city Wednesday, noting that its police department doesn't have a policy requiring officers to go into the water to save someone.

19 hours ago

FILE - Cracked dry mud is seen in a community reservoir that ran nearly empty after its retaining w...

Brandon Gray

BLM to invest over $15M in Arizona for landscape restoration project

The Bureau of Land Management has selected Arizona for its “Restoration Landscapes” project. 

19 hours ago

(AP Photo/Alberto Mariani, File)...

Associated Press

Former Arizona official who claimed election deniers made work ‘toxic’ gets $130K settlement

A former elections official for a rural Arizona county where leaders have embraced election conspiracy theories has received a $130,000 settlement over toxic work environment claims.

19 hours ago

The stretch of 12th Avenue between Washington and Jefferson streets at the Zone homeless encampment...

Kevin Stone

2nd block cleared out in Phoenix’s Zone homeless encampment

A second block at the Zone homeless encampment in downtown Phoenix was cleared Wednesday as enhanced cleanup operations continue.

19 hours ago

Booking photo for Melissa Larue, who was released from the hospital and taken to jail after getting...

Woman shot by Phoenix officers last week jailed after release from hospital

A woman shot by police officers in Phoenix last week has been released from the hospital and taken to jail, authorities said.

19 hours ago

(KTAR News Photo/Jason Veazey)...

Fire closes eastbound Loop 101 ramp to southbound State Route 51 in Phoenix

A fire closed the eastbound Loop 101 ramp to southbound State Route 51 in Phoenix for about three hours on Wednesday afternoon.

19 hours ago

Sponsored Articles



Thank you to Al McCoy for 51 years as voice of the Phoenix Suns

Sanderson Ford wants to share its thanks to Al McCoy for the impact he made in the Valley for more than a half-decade.

(Desert Institute for Spine Care in Arizona Photo)...

Desert Institute for Spine Care in Arizona

5 common causes for chronic neck pain

Neck pain can debilitate one’s daily routine, yet 80% of people experience it in their lives and 20%-50% deal with it annually.

(Photo by Michael Matthey/picture alliance via Getty Images)...

Cox Communications

Valley Boys & Girls Club uses esports to help kids make healthy choices

KTAR’s Community Spotlight focuses on the Boys & Girls Club of the Valley and the work to incorporate esports into children's lives.

Footprint study finds consumers want plastic packaging replaced with sustainable options