Public want legislation to mandate recycled content in plastic bottles, survey shows


A survey commissioned by the Resource Association has found strong public support on requiring manufacturers to include recycled content in plastic bottles.

Carried out by polling organisation YouGov, the online survey of 2,006 people across Britain found that 68% of adults supported an increase in the price of a two pint plastic milk bottle by 0.1p in order to ensure that bottles were made from at least 30% recycled material and also recycled after use (38% strongly support, 30% tend to support). Only 10% of respondents were opposed.


In the same survey, 71% of adults said they would support the Government introducing legislation to require manufacturers/retailers using a minimum amount of recycling content (37% strongly support, 34% tend to support). Only 6% of adults were opposed.

Resource Association chief executive Ray Georgeson said: “The great British public ‘gets’ recycling, and it is sending a clear signal to industry and retailers alike – they support the UK plastics recycling industry and would support the fractional additional cost of 0.1p on a two pint milk bottle that it will take to sustain reprocessing of recycled plastic milk bottles in the UK. Interestingly, the public also support the idea of legislating to ensure that recycled content is used in plastic packaging.

“The decision-makers in the supply chain must take note, wake up and act to support UK reprocessing through the storm of low oil prices and the turbulence this is causing to the sustainability of the UK plastic milk bottle processing infrastructure.

“The public agrees with many in the industry that 0.1p a bottle is clearly a small price to pay for a sustainable recycling sector. It requires nothing more than those who made this important voluntary commitment – a commitment upon which our reprocessing infrastructure has been built – to fulfil their pledges under the Dairy Roadmap and Courtauld Commitment. They could do it this working day, and them the growing uncertainty.”