GERMANY – A study commissioned by Elopak and conducted by Kantar Group has revealed that German consumers prefer the most environmentally friendly carton packaging that is possible when buying plant-based milk alternatives.

The study found out that full recyclability and a low plastic content are considered of fundamental importance, with brown, unbleached beverage cartons performing better than white ones.

The study also showed that the lower the carton’s carbon footprint, the more attractive it is to plant-based milk shoppers.

It notes that gable top cartons stand out most on the shelf compared to other packaging for plant-based drinks thanks to their unique shape.

According to the study, 83 percent of respondents said that sustainable packaging was “important” or “very important” to them when it comes to plant-based drinks.

Forty-seven percent look for complete recyclability in packaging, while 40 percent want as little plastic as possible.

On the whole, respondents said a natural-looking carton made with brown board suits the plant-based drinks segment best.

New technological solutions that further increase the environmental friendliness of the carton also increase its acceptance.

In addition, Aluminium-free cartons, in which the plastics are also based entirely on renewable materials, performed best in the survey due to carbon emissions being reduced by up to 50 percent. 

Elopak’s survey reflects others surveys done in the past few years. Most of them have highlighted the importance of sustainability in consumers purchasing choices.

The demand is still on the rise as more consumers are becoming aware of the GHG emissions by single-use packaging.

 In response to that unwavering demand, a number of consumer brands have made strides toward more sustainable packaging materials over the past year.

Building on the inherent sustainability of its Pure-Pak® cartons, Elopak offers a number of environmentally friendly innovations, such as natural brown board cartons for fresh and aseptic products, and cartons made with bio-plastics derived from tall oil in trees. For chilled products, customers can also select a closure-free carton for even less plastic.

Elopak also produces cartons with a tethered cap – the Pure-TwistFlipTM – that remains reliably attached to the packaging throughout its use.

This ensures proper disposal of the cap so that littering may be reduced. The Pure-Pak® eSense carton has also recently become available for shelf-stable products.

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