£8.3 billion of wood products were imported into the UK in 2019, many of which may not be subject to laws to ensure they are legally sourced.
Most consumers are aware of the potential impacts of their purchases, including impacts to the environment, people in developing countries, and the risk of mass deforestation.
Despite many consumers expecting items such as DIY timber (50%), cardboard packaging (61%), toilet rolls (55%), and garden furniture (45%) to be sourced responsibly, 70% of surveyed consumers are unsure how to tell if this is true of the products they buy.
Lack of knowledge of what products come from forests could be standing in the way of informed purchasing decisions. 70% of consumers are unaware that rubber products such as gloves, tyres and shoe soles can be sourced from trees, and 84% are unaware that viscose clothing could be derived from wood pulp.
Look for the FSC logo
Looking for the FSC logo on products helps consumers to make sustainable shopping choices. FSC certification provides an assurance not just of legality but also of responsible management. The FSC logo can be spotted on a huge variety of products and promotional materials, but how many people recognise it and know what it means?
A recent survey found that an impressive 73% recognise the FSC logo, which has increased from 67% in 2020, and 55% in 2019. 37% of those who recognise the logo state that they always or often choose FSC-certified products, and a third recall purchasing an FSC-certified product in the last 3 months.
“It is positive that recognition of the FSC logo is continuing to increase, as it can be nigh on impossible to tell just by looking at a piece of furniture, or a greeting card, where that wood used originally came from. But if the product has an FSC label, it means it is made with materials from responsibly managed forests and/or recycled sources.”
- Rosie Teasdale, FSC UK's Executive Director
More than half of the paper used globally is for packaging carton board or container board¹. Consumers have high expectations that product packaging is environmentally friendly, with 3 in 5 expecting it to be from sustainable sources. The top 3 products stated to be bought or received in FSC-certified product packaging are drinks (21%), food (19%), and online purchases (18%).
¹. Environmental Paper Network, 2018.