New report finds 93% of people think plastic bottles should contain recycled content

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Research by resource management company Veolia has found that 93% of people think plastic bottles should contain recycled content and most will pay an average 2.5p more for this. 

The results were published in a new report by Veolia and plastics charity RECOUP called Plan For Plastics and show a gap between what recycled content the public expect to be in plastic products and the reality.  

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Findings from the survey show that 93% of consumers think plastic bottles should contain recycled content, and 55% believe the majority of a bottle should be recycled content.

This year’s REB Market Intelligence Summit is taking place on 2 October and will look at end destinations for materials. Find out more here   

According to Veolia, plastic bottles and packaging use less than 15% recycled content, a big difference from consumer expectations.  

In the report, Veolia outlined three ways that the UK can help plastics: 

  • Simplify recycling to remove confusion 
  • Standardise packaging so a product is recyclable by design 
  • Increase the use of recycled content in the manufacturing of new products.  

The research found that 87% of people think plastic bottles should be recycled in the UK. 

From this, Veolia is calling on manufacturers and Government to remove bottlenecks to improve recycling rates.  

Veolia UK & Ireland chief technology and innovation officer Richard Kirkman said: “Plastic packaging can be complex but increasing recycling rates can be simple. Veolia is in a unique position, holding a bird’s eye view over the end-to-end plastic recycling process, and in this report with industry experts RECOUP, we recommend three clear ways for the UK to become a champion of plastic recycling – both environmentally and economically – setting the standard for the next decade.  

“The British public have told us they expect plastic bottles to be made of recycled content. We see 50% recycled content for plastic bottles and 30% for plastic packaging as realistic ambitions for every manufacturer to aim for within the next 10 years. When more packaging is both recyclable and made from recycled material, it will be the shift needed for recycled plastic to become mainstream.” 

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