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Consumer opinions on recycling assessed

Wednesday, October 3, 2018 - 10:20:48

The results of a survey conducted by Britain Thinks which looked at how people across the UK feel about recycling were published last week, outlining some of the challenges facing the industry going forwards.

Just over four out of five people questioned said that they believed the expense associated with collecting and processing recyclable materials should be shouldered by businesses, rather than shoppers. In particular it is retailers that are seen as shirking some of the responsibility at the moment, with respondents claiming that they should take care of recycling old products once they have come to the end of their usable life.

This clearly applies to things like old mobile phones, which at the moment need to be sold and recycled by consumers themselves. A number of manufacturers do offer in-house mobile recycling services, but this is far from a universal feature, meaning most consumers need to be proactive if they want to go green with their gadgets.

Almost half of the participants in the study said they felt that more needed to be done to address the sustainability problems currently facing the packaging of consumer products. Plastic waste has become a particularly hot topic this year, with retailers and manufacturers being urged to use less of this material and shoppers themselves attempting to buy fewer goods sold with plastic packaging involved.

The good news is that 81 per cent of people believe that their local council provides a satisfactory level of recycling services at present, even if 23 per cent said that they often put recyclable materials in with their general waste simply because they were too lazy to separate it out themselves.

Clearly there is a need for both consumers and businesses to make greater efforts to improve recycling rates and reduce waste, although attitudes towards an eco-friendly approach to packaging and products tend to be improving.




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