Majority of public think manufacturers should be responsible for entire cost of recycling

Written by: Jo Gallacher | Published:
56% said environmentally friendliness of a product was important to them

Over half the population (55%) think manufacturers should be responsible for all of the costs associated with recycling or disposal of materials, according to new research by BritainThinks.

The SUEZ-commissioned research, spanning from four workshops, asked members of the public a range of questions about waste services, consumption habits, recycling experiences and producer responsibility.

It then tested the responses through a national survey of more than 2,000 people.

Around three quarters of the workshop felt manufacturers should pay a deposit when they place products and packaging on the market and only have it returned on the percentage that is recycled.

However, participants raised concerns that transferring responsibility from councils to manufacturers would be passed on to the tax-payer,

They predicted manufacturers would recover their losses by upping the cost of products.

BritainThinks also found consumers want recycling and waste disposal to be convenient, efficient and rewarding, although nearly a quarter (23%) still admit to discarding items they know could have been recycled.

When purchasing typical supermarket items, 56% of those surveyed said the environmentally friendliness was important.

This contrasts with the 96% who said quality of the product was important and 95% which rated the cost of the item as important.

David Palmer-Jones, SUEZ recycling and recovery UK CEO, said: “The current regime is failing to deliver sustainability improvements for some items we all buy and discard every day.

“Consumers are willing to play their part and told us at the workshops that they would even tolerate unpopular cost increases in the short term if it resulted in a better outcome for the environment in the long term.”

The full report can be viewed here.

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