Two Surveys Sum Up Public’s Attitudes Towards Recycling
Two surveys published last week have revealed the UK public’s attitudes towards recycling and a number of issues from exporting recycling to other countries to shopping habits.
The survey results give an insight into what the public wants and needs when it comes to plastics, and they also highlight the barriers that exist for many people when it comes to recycling, including a lack of appropriate infrastructure and more sustainable options not being practical or economically viable.
The first survey was conducted by Viridor, the UK’s biggest recycling company. 2500 people across nine regions were ask about their views on plastic recycling policy and infrastructure in the UK. There were also questions on shopping habits and how the ‘Blue Planet II’ effect had affected their buying habits. Respondents seemed to back many of the measures that are on the table as part of the government’s Resources and Waste Strategy, particularly the tax on plastic packaging that contains less than 30% recycled materials and measures that are being introduced to make sure that plastic packaging producers pay 100% of the collection and recycling costs associated with what they produce.
The second survey comes from market research giant Kantar Worldpanel, which asked 25,000 adults across 24 countries for their opinions on the ways in which plastic is being used by huge corporate consumer goods firms.
The findings of the Viridor study
- 85% of people believe that the UK should not export plastic recycling overseas
- Nine in ten people believe that plastic is a valuable resource that can be used to create new products
- 65% of people said they would be more likely to choose a product if it was housed in recyclable packaging
- 87% of people feel confused about how to recycle packaging
- Three-quarters of people want recycling education to be added to the national curriculum
- Nine in ten people believe that councils should standardise their recycling collections to make it less confusing
The findings of the Kantar study
- Half of consumers think about the environment when they buy food, health, beauty, and cleaning products
- 48% of people believe that packaging producers should be responsible for recycling
- Less than one-fifth of people believe that they should have the main responsibility for recycling
- Nine in ten people couldn’t name a manufacturer with sustainability targets
- Eight in ten people couldn’t name a retailer with sustainability targets
- Only two in five people would be happy to pay more for recyclable packaging