A Content Analysis on Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) Company's Focus to Emphasize Sustainable Plastic Packaging
Publish Date: Monday, 27 December 2021

Dilushan Dahanayake & Christine Yiqing Liang



"The fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry is a heavy user of single-use plastic (SUP) for their packaging. SUP usually requires fossil fuel resources to produce and can often end up degrading into harmful pollutants in the marine and terrestrial environments. This research explored whether FMCG companies taking initiatives to eliminate the use of single-use plastic. This research followed the content analysis methodology to obtain and analyse information from the company websites of 17 FMCG companies in the Fortune 500 rank. Every company had at least one  sustainability-related topic on their website and 94% claimed they had at least one initiative to eliminate SUP. Only 35% of websites documented a substantial number of initiatives compared to the size of the business. Over a third (35%) of company websites either did not define their SUP reduction targets or had extended 10-year targets. This research addresses a gap in the literature on plastic elimination initiatives exploring how they are taken into consideration when defining the company targets. Furthermore, the results could be used as a baseline for future research studies to examine the evolution of sustainable packaging practices and the reality of achieving their commitments. Finally, this study demonstrated the utility of content analysis in business management to investigate the “greenwashing” phenomenon."


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