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Consumers think producers have the biggest impact on limiting environmental damage

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A plastic bottle on grass
Manufacturers have a major influence on how much waste is caused by their products and ends up in the environment. © Pexels / Karolina Grabowska

For consumers, environmental protection increasingly plays a role in their purchasing decisions. According to a GfK study, children play a significant role in this.

Consumers are increasingly concerned about the impact of their purchasing decisions on the environment. This is the result of a study by the Society for Consumer Research (GfK). According to the study, 42 percent of the households surveyed in Europe stated that environmental issues play an important role in their personal environment. According to the survey, more than one in three households has stopped purchasing certain services or products because of their impact on the environment or society.

"Sustainability and concern for the planet are increasingly becoming a major concern for consumers," the study concludes. According to GfK, the proportion of buyers who actively avoid plastic waste, for example, differs significantly from country to country. In Germany, the proportion is relatively high at 38 percent. "No brand can afford to ignore this trend," the study says.

GfK expert Jan-Fredrik Stahlbock advises retailers to offer appropriate solutions to the growing target group of environmentally conscious consumers. "Not to do so would be fatal in the medium and long term. " This is where product group management is needed for many product ranges. Manufacturers, however, must "always be one step ahead of the competition and clearly define which sustainability measures have priority in product development and redesign".

Younger people are particularly important in these considerations. According to the study, the children who live in a household have the greatest influence on what a household buys. When it comes to limiting environmental damage, consumers believe that manufacturers have the greatest influence, with 40 percent, followed by governments with 35 percent. Only five percent of consumers believe that retailers are capable of doing so.


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