Changing habits to reduce environmental impacts

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More consumers are changing the way they shop in an effort to reduce environmental impacts, Consumer NZ’s latest survey has found.

Consumer NZ chief executive Sue Chetwin says six out of 10 Kiwis agreed environmental considerations were very important to them and looked for ‘greener’ products.

More consumers were also opting to get goods repaired rather than replaced.

“Forty-seven per cent said they ‘always’ or ‘usually’ tried to get products repaired. That’s up from 43 per cent in our previous survey,” says Sue.

The survey found demand for organic produce has risen as well. One in five consumers were regularly buying organic when available.

Sue says the ban on single-use plastic bags has led to a sharp rise in the proportion of consumers regularly taking reusable bags when shopping.

“Two years ago, 44 per cent of consumers were taking reusable bags most of the time. That’s doubled to 88 per cent.”

Fifty-two per cent says they ‘always’ or ‘usually’ tried to avoid products with too much packaging, up from 42 per cent in Consumer NZ’s 2018 survey.

However, Sue says consumers wanting to do the right thing faced major hurdles sorting genuinely greener goods from the fake.

The survey found 72 per cent of consumers thought it was hard to find which products really were better choices, an increase from 68 per cent.

Sixty-nine per cent also felt companies weren’t doing enough to reduce the environment impacts of their products.

Sue says trust in green claims remained unchanged. Only 51 per cent felt environmental claims could be trusted.

“That finding isn’t surprising. We routinely uncover products making bogus ‘green’ claims. The companies making them are not only misleading consumers by they’re also breaching the Fair Trading Act,” she says.

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