Retail Insight | Environment
Geoff de Burca
Managing Partner & Head of Strategy
brands to reduce
use of plastics
One of the most moving sights of 2017 was in the final episode of the BBC’s Blue Planet II, with a mother whale cradling her dead calf. The show ended with a plea from presenter Sir David Attenborough for the world to reduce its reliance on single use plastics. There was an instant impact on consumers globally, and major retailers were quick to respond: In January, British supermarket Iceland took out newspaper ads announcing its vow to remove plastic packaging from its own label products by 2023, directly attributing its decision to the impact of Blue Planet II. The other major British supermarkets all followed with similar announcements. In February Dutch supermarket Ekoplaza rolled out the world’s first plastic-free supermarket aisle. The French government has pledged to recycle all plastics by 2025 and 11 companies, including L’Oréal, Mars, Evian, Coca-Cola, Unilever, and Walmart have also vowed to work towards eliminating single-use packaging by then. These steps are clearly aligned with consumers’ views: recent research conducted by MediaCom shows that 64 percent of British consumers have started reducing their use of plastic, and a massive 88 percent think that it is the responsibility of brands to reduce the amount of plastic they use.