WEDNESDAY 22 DEC 2021 1:08 PM


The Charted Institute of Marketing (CIM) has released a list of Britain’s least sustainable packaging producers, with Amazon and UK supermarkets dominating the league table. The research also reveals a 16% increase in consumer demand for brands to promote sustainable packaging over the past year.

The research surveyed 2,000 UK adults to assess current attitudes toward top brands. Amazon was voted the worst offender for the use of excess packaging for the second year in a row. Tesco followed in second place, voted the worst offender by 9%, with Ebay ranked third with 7%. Supermarkets dominated the rankings for sustainable packaging, with Asda, Sainsburys and M&S coming in joint fourth place with 6% of votes.

Gemma Butler, marketing director and expert in sustainable marketing at CIM says, “Consumers are far more switched on when it comes to the challenges of excessive packaging, especially plastics, and today’s findings show it’s having an impact on brand association. Companies that therefore refuse to address their product packaging impacts risk damaging not only the planet, but their reputation too.”

M&S and John Lewis were new entries to the table in 2021, suggesting unstainable packaging or the communication of their efforts have become more apparent to consumers this past year. Meanwhile, fast fashion brand, Pretty Little Thing, was notably absent from this year’s league table.

The results show that 82% of UK adults agree companies use too much packaging when delivering or selling in-store products. A further 78% want to see more being done by large companies to promote sustainable packaging, an increase of 16% from last year.

Brand’s communication of its sustainability efforts can have a direct impact on consumer loyalty, as 30% of respondents said receiving an order with excess packaging would put them off ordering again. Click and collect services were preferred by 34% in order to save on carbon emissions.

“It’s clear from our research that consumers are increasingly conscious of the impact the festivities and its associated consumerism is having on the planet, and they’re expecting companies to be more transparent about it too. It’s time for brands to step up and rethink how we can celebrate the magic of Christmas without leaving a mountain of waste behind,” adds Butler.