Litter from takeaway packaging is the consumer’s responsibility finds survey

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A YouGov survey commissioned by waste management firm FCC found that 68% of participants said the individual consumer has the main responsibility for litter from takeaway packaging. 

The survey found that 9% of respondents believed takeaway litter to be the retailer’s responsibility, 8% the packaging producer and 5% the local council.  

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FCC’s poll coincides with the Government’s current scrutiny of producer responsibility for packaging waste and effective deposit return schemes to tackle littering as part of its Resources and Waste Strategy.  

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It also aligns with the national Litter Strategy and its focus on the importance of public engagement and awareness, combined with local authority enforcement when it comes to tidying up the country and making litter unacceptable.  

FCC regional director Steve Longdon said: “With its Waste and Resources Strategy, Government is pushing us towards a DRS system for consumers’ ‘on the go’ lifestyles while holding producers accountable for packaging [so as to reduce littering and drive up recycling]. At the same time, its Litter Strategy is driving forward measures to curb littering behaviour. Our research makes it clear that the public recognise their responsibility for littering. It shows we all need to play our part in cleaning up our streets and countryside.” 

Other findings from the study include: 

  • Almost a third of those surveyed (32%) said they wouldn’t pay anything extra for 100% recyclable or environmentally friendly packaging for their takeaway food or drink 
  • 28% said they would be willing to pay an extra 5%  
  • Many are confused about what takeaway packaging can and can’t be recycled, but most are confident that glass bottles, aluminium cans, plastic bottles and cardboard containers are recyclable 
  • Only half think paper coffee cups, drinks cartons or plastic containers and wrapping can be recycled. 

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