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Survey: Consumers Want to Go Green, But High Costs, Quality Issues Stand in the Way

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MCDONOUGH, GA.—A new survey by ALPLA, a global leader in packaging solutions, uncovers critical barriers to the adoption of reusable products, pointing to a significant disconnect between consumer intent and action. Despite a widespread desire to incorporate reusable items into their daily routines, many are held back by cost and quality concerns.

This builds on ALPLA’s previous research highlighting a strong generational shift in favor of sustainable packaging, showing that while the intent to adopt sustainable practices remains high, practical barriers such as affordability and perceived quality must be addressed. ALPLA’s latest findings shed light on an exciting opportunity for the industry to innovate, making it easier for everyone to embrace sustainability, address broader environmental challenges and drive meaningful change in the marketplace.

The 2024 Reusability Survey, conducted for ALPLA by the third-party platform Pollfish, surveyed 600 U.S. adults. Highlights from the report include:

  • 69 percent of Americans are willing to buy reusable products, but 66 percent have refrained due to high costs, highlighting a major obstacle in price sensitivity.
  • 68 percent of consumers would increase their use of reusable goods if cost were not a factor, with 36 percent indicating significant increases, suggesting that affordability could greatly enhance sustainable practices.
  • Cost and durability are the primary barriers to purchasing reusable products, with 28 percent of respondents citing cost and 21 percent citing durability; maintenance and availability follow closely behind.
  • Store incentives are 2.5 times more effective than state mandates in encouraging the use of reusable shopping bags, showing a preference for positive reinforcement over regulatory measures.

“We’re seeing a significant gap between consumers’ willingness to use more eco-friendly products and their actual purchasing behavior,” said Billy Rice, Sustainability Manager at ALPLA. “This presents a strong market opportunity for manufacturers to innovate and deliver safe, affordable solutions for sustainable living worldwide.”

The full 2024 Reusability Survey report can be accessed on ALPLA’s Plastic Reimagined website.

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