Consumer demand for recycled packaging overestimates reality

Written by: Jo Gallacher | Published:
More than half of people think the majority of plastic bottles should contain recycled content

More than half (55%) of people think the majority of plastic bottles should contain recycled content according to new research by Veolia and RECOUP.

Survey results published in Plan For Plastics found a large gap between what recycled content the public expect and the reality.

Despite 93% of consumers thinking plastic bottles should contain recycled content, currently bottles and packaging generally contain less than 15%.

To improve recycled content found, the report suggested simplified recycling, standardised packaging so a product is recyclable by design and increased use of recycled content in the manufacture of new products.

Richard Kirkman, chief technology and innovation officer, Veolia UK & Ireland, said: “We see 50% recycled content for plastic bottles and 30% for plastic packaging as realistic ambitions for every manufacturer to aim for within the next 10 years.”

The report comes at a time when Veolia is planning to invest £1 billion in recycling and recovery infrastructure in the UK over the next five years, with the company now urging designers, manufacturers and government to match its efforts.

A circular economy could add £29 billion (1.8%) to GDP in the UK, according to Veolia’s joint research with Imperial College London.


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