BRANDS have been warned that they risk reputational damage if they fail to adopt more sustainable packaging practices.

The alert comes from the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) which said excess packaging causes frustration for Scottish consumers. It follows a study commissioned by CIM which found consumers in Scotland are most likely to complain to their peers about excess packaging, with almost 90% stating they think companies use too much packaging when delivering or selling in-store. Almost a third admitted they have been “put off” ordering from the same company again, due to the amount of paper or cardboard which came with it.

Overall, 36% judge a brand’s ethics on their packaging and a sixth have complained to a company because of this. A further four in 10 said the amount of excess packaging used often puts them off shopping online.

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The study, which gathered responses from 2000 consumers across the UK, revealed that nationwide, 88% think their shopping comes with more wrapping than is required, with children’s toys, mobile phones and cosmetics most likely to come in over-elaborate packaging. It’s not just e-commerce shops which are believed to over-do it, as one-sixth believe in-store food shopping also uses more plastic than is required.

Joe Pacitti, CIM Scotland chair said: “Consumers are clear they want to do their bit to help tackle plastic pollution of the natural environment, so it should come as little surprise that sustainable packaging continues to be a growing concern for shoppers.

“The study clearly illustrates that consumers don’t want excess packaging and as the conversation about sustainability evolves, marketers must recognise that packaging is an issue which can make or break brands’ relationships with their customers.”