Consumers not put off by greenish glass

Jars and bottles made with mixed-colour recycled glass does not appear to put off consumers, according to trials on supermarket shelves.

Retailers have expressed concern that consumers might find glass with a slight coloured tint off-putting but this research carried out by WRAP suggests otherwise.

The waste-reduction organisation is hoping it will break down one of the barriers currently affecting the amount of glass being recycled back into useful products.

WRAP believes the study will also benefit the recycling industry in the UK by providing confidence in the demand for more mixed colour recycled glass.

Conducted in partnership with Sainsbury’s, the study looked at consumer attitudes to food and drink products in glass packaging with a slightly green hue – the colour produced when it contains a high percentage of mixed-colour recycled glass.

By comparing participants’ perceptions of a range of common products – from mayonnaise and preserves to wines and spirits – packaged in both recycled and clear glass containers, the study found that the colour change did not tend to have a detrimental effect.

Mayonnaise was the only product that consumers preferred in a clear glass container, otherwise, product approval ratings were similar regardless of container colour.

Marcus Gover, director of market development at WRAP, said: “WRAP’s study suggests that, in the majority of cases, consumers are just as likely to buy food and drink products in containers with over 90% mixed-colour recycled glass content as they are to purchase products in clear glass packaging.

“This study should give retailers the confidence to use more recycled glass in their products – in the knowledge that it will not adversely affect sales.

“This is good news for the recycling industry as it could help to stimulate a high value market for mixed-colour recycled glass in the UK. This in turn may provide the impetus to divert more of this glass away from landfill and secondary markets and into closed loop recycling.”

Sam Bond

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