Willing to pay more: British consumers call for sustainable packaging

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Kunststoffflaschen (Foto: © Matthew Gollop /http://www.pixelio.de)

Horsham, UK — The latest YouGov research suggests consumers are becoming more aware of sustainable packaging as they call for more packaging to both be recyclable and made from recycled material. The findings have been released by UK resource management company Veolia. Over half of British consumers (51 per cent) would favour a new drink – of a similar price, quality and flavour – in a recyclable bottle over their original drink purchase if its packaging was unrecyclable. Furthermore, 30 per cent of adults now consider recyclable packaging ‘important’ when choosing a drink to buy, this was selected more than the brand (26 per cent) and the aesthetics of the bottle (9 per cent).

What this reveals is whilst innovations in packaging represent incredible breakthroughs in technology that keep food and drink fresher for longer and perishables undamaged, the lifecycle of the packaging is becoming increasingly important. It’s important that when separated films, laminates and composites are also considered as currently they are often contaminated or are simply too complex to recycle – highlighting the need for manufacturers, retailers, regulators and experts in the recycling sector to work together to make more packaging easily recyclable.

Estelle Brachlianoff, Senior Executive Vice President of Veolia UK & Ireland, commented:In the UK we fail to capture 44 per cent of all of the plastic bottles we use but imagine if we collected and recycled all of these. This would save approximately 300,000 tonnes of materials and we’d be well on our way to being a truly sustainable society. I’m a firm believer that the solution to making all plastics easily recyclable and increasing the percentage of recycled material in packaging lies in collaboration. And as the public’s awareness of packaging and recycling continues to rise we hope to see more of the supply chain working together to solve the packaging puzzle – and our doors are open to any manufacturer wishing to discuss how we can recycle packaging more easily by working together.”

The research is to support the official opening of the company’s Dagenham Plastic Facility. The new facility produces approximately 10,000 tonnes of high quality food grade HDPE pellets annually. Recycling this material requires 75 per cent less energy to make a plastic bottle than using ‘virgin’ materials, and this equates to conserving enough energy to power around 20,000 homes and saving 10,000 tpa of carbon emissions annually.mThe move will boost the UK’s domestic recycling capability, creating 30 permanent jobs in London and enabling Veolia to make and sell a high value product from the 200 million plastic milk bottles it collects annually.

Source: Veolia UK