In numbers: The UK public’s attitudes to plastics recycling

Two new surveys have this week revealed the public's attitudes towards plastic recycling, covering an array of issues from foreign exports to shopping habits. Here, edie rounds up the key findings.


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In numbers: The UK public’s attitudes to plastics recycling

The findings act as a snapshot of the public's plastic-related wants and needs 

The first of the surveys, conducted by the UK’s largest recycling firm Viridor, asked 2,500 adults across nine key city-regions to detail their views on the UK’s existing plastics recycling policies and infrastructure.

Respondents were also asked about their shopping habits, and how the so-called “Blue Planet 2 effect” has impacted the decisions they make when choosing products and services.

Overall, respondents to this survey gave their backing to many of the key measures detailed in the Resources and Waste Strategy – including a new tax for plastic packaging containing less than 30% recycled content and measures to ensure that plastics packaging producers pay 100% of the recovery and recycling costs associated with their products, up from 10% at present.

The second survey comes from Kantar’s Worldpanel division, which asked 25,000 adults across 24 nations for their opinions on the ways in which plastic is used by consumer goods giants.

Together, the results of these surveys offer deeper insight into the public’s plastics-related needs and desires, at a time when we are continually hearing that plastic is becoming top-of-mind for shoppers – but also that barriers such as distrust in corporates, a lack of recycling infrastructure and the expense of more sustainable options are remaining rife.

Here, edie rounds up the key facts and stats.

From the Viridor study

From the Kantar study, which was conducted in partnership with GfK and Europanel… 

Sarah George

© Faversham House Ltd 2022 edie news articles may be copied or forwarded for individual use only. No other reproduction or distribution is permitted without prior written consent.

Comments (1)

  1. Roger Munford says:

    9 in 10 believe all councils should use the same framework…"
    "48% believe responsibility lies with packaging manufacturers.."

    Lets stop faffing around, copy the German system which has been working well for over 25 years.
    1. Make a central authority responsible for giving EVERY household in the land a free packaging bin completely independent of councils. EVERYBODY has the same collection.
    2. Force the manufacturers to pay a small fee for EVERY piece of packaging produced or imported to the central authority. These fees pay for the universal collection and handling (recycling) of the waste.
    How does this help?
    1. Manufacturers are incentivised to use minimum amounts of packaging which are easy to recycle. If it can’t be recycled it cant be used – simple.
    2. One bin for ALL packaging for EVERY house – simple.
    3. No reliance on local authorities. They are completely out of the scene.
    4 Collections organised by population density not local authority boundaries -efficient
    5 Small businesses like restaurants producing packaging waste don’t pay trade waste
    It took 3 years for Germany to set this up. The UK will be "consulting" for 3 years and then continue as a bit better than normal.

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