UK public backs strong action on plastic packaging

The vast majority of Brits think the government should take strong action to ensure all packaging is made of recyclable materials, a survey of over 1,000 people has found.

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The research from Cardiff University shows that nearly nine in ten people believe there is a “strong” or “very strong” need to shift to a society that uses resources more efficiently.

A similar number think all packaging should be made of recyclable materials, while three-quarters back new rules to ensure businesses produce repairable and recyclable items.

Two-thirds said they were frustrated by the short lifetime of products, and eight in ten believe businesses should be required to provide repair, maintenance or disposal support.

“We were surprised by the level of agreement from the many people we surveyed,” Cardiff University’s professor Nick Pidgeon, said. “It was overwhelmingly clear that people aren’t satisfied and want to see change. 

“They really care about this. They want higher quality products and less waste. Improving resource efficiency is an easy win for both the public and the environment.”

The research, published today in collaboration with the think tank Green Alliance, shows that the most popular policies for improving the sustainability of products are also those that cut the most carbon emissions.

This comes after it was found that redesigning products to use less material and packaging could cut emissions associated with commonly used household products by nearly 20%.

It is thought that this could rise to 40% if used in combination with policies that extend product lifetimes and encourage the sharing of goods.

The researchers said the government should engage with the public before devising policies to improve resource efficiency, and urged it to go for “quick wins” first by helping to extend the lifetime of products.

Green Party MP, Caroline Lucas, said: “The solutions are now clear – and this research shows that the public understands the problem and wants government and business to implement the solutions.” 


Image credit | iStock

Chris Seekings is a reporter for TRANSFORM

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