MPMA: Consumers need clear recycling messages

Consumers are more concerned than ever about the environmental impact of packaging but are becoming confused by inconsistent messages, according to a leading trade association.

This year’s Basket of Goods report from the Metal Packaging Manufacturers Association (MPMA) shows two-thirds of Brits are concerned about the environmental impact of their weekly shop.

But more than 80% want to see clear labelling on packaging to tell them whether it can be recycled or not.

The MPMA said different recycling policies in different local authority areas is also creating confusion among consumers and Government needs to step in to resolve this problem.

Nick Mullen, director of the MPMA, told edie: “I do believe very strongly that Government has a responsibility to knock some heads together even if they don’t want to intervene and say ‘let’s have regional recycling facilities’ and be more proactive to get these guys to work together.”

The association is also urging retailers and manufacturers to create a standard label telling consumers which bin to put the packaging in.

Mr Mullen also raised concerns that the message about the recyclability of metal is being lost among wider incentives to boost recycling.

Mr Mullen said: “People are not as clear as we would like them to be that everything you buy in metal can go in the recycling bins.

“We are going to have to use our best efforts to reinforce that message.”

At last week’s Interpack conference in Germany, he urged the European metal packaging industry to consider launching a publicity campaign to remind consumers to recycle metal packaging.

The Basket of Goods survey also found that an increased number of consumers are recycling, with 49% of respondents this year saying they recycle everything they can, compared to 40% last year.

However, only 27% believe everything the council collects for recycling is actually recycled.

Kate Martin

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