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Consumers Show Preference for Biodegradable Packaging

Posted: September 9, 2009

New LOHAS research from the Natural Marketing Institute (NMI) shows consumers prefer biodegradable packaging over recyclable material.

Consumers like the idea of biodegradable packaging. Eight-eight percent think it's important for packaging to be biodegradable, and nearly half would prefer biodegradable packaging over recyclable packaging, new LOHAS—or Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability—research from the Natural Marketing Institute (NMI) reveals. And some companies are already poised to capitalize on this trend, such as Sun Chips, which will have fully compostable bags by 2010.

Does this spell trouble for the recycling industry? NMI doesn't think so. Only 27% of consumers compost regularly, and few communities currently offer compost pickup. Nevertheless, packaging waste is one of consumers' top sustainability concerns, and utilizing alternate, environmentally friendly materials grabs consumers' attention and provides new ways to make them feel like they are making a tangible reduction in their environmental impact.


LOHAS describes an integrated, rapidly growing—$209 billion—market for goods and services that appeals to consumers who have a meaningful sense of environmental and social responsibility and incorporates those values into their purchase decisions. NMI has quantified the LOHAS market and consumer since 2002, currently with eight years of trended insight and data.