Brands have an opportunity to win over consumers with a proactive stance on environmental issues and sustainability, according to a new report from Ipsos.

Despite a lack of clarity on climate change, Singaporeans (78%) recognise that their behaviour has an impact on the environment, and they take a rather serious view specifically on the use of plastics.

Singaporeans agree that the excessive use of plastics is a problem (79%), with 47% of respondents saying that they usually separate their plastic waste to be sent for recycling.

There is also an expectation from Singaporeans on businesses that produce and sell packaged goods to take responsibility for reducing the amount of unnecessary packaging which is sold.

These initiatives include replacing all plastic packaging with recycled plastic products, replacing single-use plastic containers and straws with eco-friendly products and launching promotions to encourage non-plastic use.

Retailers are also moving towards using eco-friendly packaging, such as banana leaves and bio-plastic bags, while eco-friendly stores using consumers’ own non-plastic packaging for soaps and shampoo have become increasingly popular.

When asked if there were policies in place to phase out single-use plastics or disposable non-biodegradable plastics in favour of those made with more biodegradable materials or reusable alternatives, 38% of Singaporeans agree they would support it if there was a small price increase, while 64% would support it if there were no price increase. The remaining 9% would not support such policies.

Ipsos noted that, globally, consumer sentiment is shaping new expectations and new behaviours around sustainable packaging which creates a new commercial imperative that will drive future profitability of brands.

Elodie Causier, director at Ipsos in Singapore, said plastic waste and packaging sustainability are critical global environmental and commercial issues.

“Conditions are ripe for innovation in alternative packaging, community action and innovative ways to recycle and reuse plastic waste,” she said. “We are now entering a third ‘moment of truth’ where brand owners have the opportunity to leverage packaging sustainability as an additional and new, distinctive brand asset.”

Sourced from Ipsos; additional content by WARC staff