Make manufacturers pay for recycling, UK says in Viridor-YouGov poll

22nd September 2020 | Recycling

Manufacturers and not taxpayers should bear the cost of recycling waste and returning it to the circular economy, according to British consumers that took part in a YouGov poll commissioned by UK recycling company Viridor. Viridor’s Recycling Index, which has been tracking public attitudes to recycling for five years, found 67% of those polled believe that taxpayers currently carry the cost of recycling, with 64% (up from 56% last year) saying that producers/ manufacturers should pick up the bill.

The index found that 55% thought that businesses selling these products should be accountable, with 41% calling on the Government to contribute to recycling costs. The 2016 Viridor Recycling Index found that consumers expected that 79% of waste should be recycled by 2021 but only 64% believed this was achievable by next year demonstrating the gulf between the ambition consumers have for recycling and the expectation of what can be realistically accomplished.

Manufacturers pay for recycling

Current recycling in the UK stands at 45% but more than half (52.5%) polled in the 2020 Viridor Recycling Index said they wanted to see 100% of plastic packaging made from recycled material by 2030. Viridor CEO Phil Piddington said, “Viridor has been listening to consumer attitudes to recycling for five years and applying the lessons we’ve learnt to the way we run our business.”
The concept of extended producer responsibility, or producer pays, has been a key component of our input to government on the future of recycling.

“Viridor also supports the Treasury’s Plastic Tax, proposed for 2022, which would tax all plastic packaging with less than 30% recycled content. This, along with extended producer responsibility, more standardised local government collections and clearer labelling which helps consumers to do the right thing and recycle more, reflects our response to five years of commissioning the Viridor Recycling Index. These messages have come out loud and clear from the UK public.”

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