New survey highlights consumer expectations on single-use cutlery

New survey highlights consumer expectations on single-use cutlery

Sustainability

Celebration Packaging, a leading provider of packaging solutions, has recently undertaken a comprehensive research study focusing on single-use items. The findings reveal a strong consumer expectation for food outlets to offer cutlery options.

Current regulations in Scotland and Northern Ireland have already imposed bans on the sale of single-use packaging, including cutlery. Similar regulations will be implemented in England and Wales starting in October 2023.

The survey, conducted by Sapio Research, highlights that over half of the consumers surveyed (53%) still anticipate food outlets and takeaways to provide them with cutlery, while 46% indicated their willingness to carry their own cutlery for on-the-go food consumption.

In terms of preferred alternatives to single-use plastic cutlery, more than half of the respondents expressed a preference for reusable options such as bamboo (54%) or metal (53%) cutlery.

Sapio Research conducted the interviews online in March 2023, employing email invitations and an online survey. The study encompassed the perspectives of 2,001 consumers across England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

Wooden forks credit Forbes Johnston (CC BY 2.0)
Wooden forks © Forbes Johnston (CC BY 2.0)

Celebration Packaging's research sheds light on consumer attitudes and expectations regarding on-the-go cutlery, providing valuable insights for food outlets and the wider packaging industry as they adapt to evolving sustainability regulations and consumer preferences.

Nick Burton, Celebration Packaging managing director, said: The fact that more than 50% of people expect cutlery to be provided suggests that there is going to be an ongoing demand for single-use cutlery in some form. So, with the ban on single-use plastic, we need to offer the best recyclable or compostable alternatives, or be able to supply viable reusable options. While people might expect a reuse rate of between 10-times to 50-times, there is currently no agreed definition as to how many times cutlery – or packaging of any type – must be used to justify calling it reusable.

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