Poll – Consumer confusion and mistrust over plastic recycling is growing

24th September 2018 | Recycling

Consumers are becoming less confident in the ability of businesses, governments, and the waste sector to properly recycle waste in the UK, according to a new survey. A poll of 1,900 people carried out over the summer by UK waste and recycling firm Viridor found concerns about the environmental impact of waste remain high. Over 80 per cent said they are worried about the impact of plastic pollution on the ocean, while 71 per cent believe there will be floating islands of rubbish in UK waters within the next 50 years unless swift action is taken to boost recycling.

But the annual poll found that while consumers expect businesses, government, and the waste sector to take more responsibility for boosting recycling rates, many also do not trust them to do so. Over half of respondents said businesses should be more responsibility for recycling, but only nine per cent of them said they trusted them to ensure waste is recycled properly. Meanwhile, 61 per cent said the UK government should do more to tackle stalled recycling rates, yet only 12 per cent trust it to do so.

Plastic Recycling

However, despite this lack of trust in businesses and policymakers to tackle the waste issue, the survey shows an appetite among consumers for them to play a greater role in recycling. Nearly 80 per cent said they would consider using a deposit return scheme – a figure which is up nine percentage points from last year’s poll – and 89 per cent said they would consider using refillable packaging.

Many are also willing to pay a tax on non-recyclable plastics, the survey suggests, with 47 per cent happy to do so for plastic drinks bottles, 45 per cent for plastic takeaway containers, and 44 per cent happy to stump up an additional tax on black plastic food trays. The results will prove of interest to the Treasury, which is currently weighing plans for a range of new plastic taxes.

More information available on the website below