A recent survey of 1,000 shoppers in Ireland has pointed towards a growing trend in the nation’s sustainable shopping habits. The questions were asked as part of the launch of the Bank of Ireland’s new bio-sourced Visa Debit Card, the first of its kind in Ireland. The new bio-sourced card is made from 82% bio-sourced renewable materials derived from field corn. When its lifespan is over, it takes just six months to break down unlike its plastic equivalent (PVC cards) which take around 400 years to decompose. The card is available first to students, but the plan is to roll out the card for all their customers in the next 18 months.
Commenting on the launch of the new bio-sourced card Gavin Kelly, CEO Retail, Ireland, Bank of Ireland said: “Both sustainability and climate change are consistently cited as one the biggest issues facing society and generations to come. Our student customers have been a leading voice for change and teaching older generations to become more socially conscious and environmentally friendly in our daily lives. We want to put sustainability in the hands of all our customers and give them the opportunity to go greener in their daily lives.”
According to the Bank of Ireland research, younger shoppers are the most sustainably minded with 71% of those aged 18-25 noting they have made an effort to shop in this way over the last year. This cohort is also willing to pay more of a premium for sustainable goods compared to the national average, with 69% willing to spend extra compared to the national average of 54%.
When shopping sustainably, two-thirds say that environmentally friendly packaging is the number one thing they look out for when making a purchase. 56% say a product which is locally sourced or Fairtrade certified and has traceable origins is a key part of the decision process, while 45% say ensuring the product is cruelty-free is important to them.
The changing face of shopping since COVID-19
The current COVID-19 pandemic has also played a role in changing how we shop and what we are purchasing leading to a greater emphasis on shopping local, being more sustainable and supporting Irish businesses. 61% of respondents say that they have made an effort to shop closer to home since March and 30% say they have been actively buying more sustainably sourced items.
Reflecting the decline in socialising, over half (52%) say they have bought less clothing over the last six months and 30% say they are spending less on beauty and personal care products. In line with the shift towards becoming more mindful shoppers, over a third (38%) say they are purchasing more quality items over quantity since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Featured image – Bank of Ireland ambassadors, Doireann Garrihy and Greg O’Shea were on hand to launch Bank of Ireland’s brand new bio-sourced Visa Debit Card.