Public demands action over unrecyclable packaging

Written by: Jo Gallacher | Published:
Just 0.4% of those surveyed said there was no need for packaging to be recyclable

Almost 90% of people want all packaging to be recyclable, according to a new Cardiff University survey.

Published in a new report, By popular demand: what people want from a resource efficient economy, the survey showed further evidence of the public’s increasing concern about waste.

It was part of a research project conducted by the Centre for Industrial Materials, Energy and Products (CIEMAP) and think tank Green Alliance.

Two thirds of people surveyed were frustrated with products that do not last, with 75% believing the government should be responsible for ensuring businesses produce repairable and recyclable products.

Just 0.4% of people said there was no need for packaging to be recyclable.

CIEMAP’s research shows the most popular policies, which lead to better product and packaging design and longer lasting products, are also the ones that cut the most carbon emissions.

Speaking at the report’s launch, Professor Nick Pidgeon, who led the team, said: “We found at least 60% were in support of radical change, with many open to material carbon taxes to replace VAT.

“It was overwhelmingly clear that people aren’t satisfied and want to see change. They want higher quality products and less waste. Improving resource efficiency is an easy win for both the public and the environment.”

Redesigning products to use less material and reducing packaging could cut the emissions associated with commonly used household products by nearly 20%, according to the report.

However, there were warnings against a reliance on service economies where products are hired out to users.

Professor Jim Skea, of Imperial College, said: “Service models are not particularly new and can be used to increase consumption and accelerate the take up of new things for example TVs, so we need to be very careful in which circumstances these models will be applied.”

CIEMAP is made up of a coalition of four universities: Bath, Cardiff, Leeds and Nottingham Trent.

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