Survey finds three quarters of people want the Government to ensure products are recyclable

A bale of plastic for recycling

A new survey led by Cardiff University has found that three quarters of people want the Government to ensure products are recyclable, and repairable.  

It showed that almost 90% want all packaging to be recyclable and also adds further evidence to the public’s concern about waste.  


The survey was conducted by Cardiff University as part of a project for the Centre for Industrial Material, Energy and Products (CIEMAP), a coalition of universities, which has published the research with think tank Green Alliance.  

CIEMAP’s research has shown that the most popular policies, which lead to better product and packaging design and longer lasting products, are also the ones that cut the most carbon emissions.  

Redesigning products to use less material and reducing packaging could cut the emissions associated with commonly used household items by nearly 20%, according to CIEMAP. 

These savings would rise to nearly 40% if products were made to last longer and could be shared through schemes like car clubs or London’s Library of Things.   

Key finds of the survey include: 

  • 87% of people believe that there is a strong or very strong need to shift to a society that used resources more efficiently, with only 0.4% believing there is no need at all 
  • 65% of people are frustrated by products that do not last 
  • 75% believe that the Government should be responsible for ensuring that businesses produce recyclable products 
  • 89% believe all packaging should be made of recyclable materials 
  • 81% believe businesses should be required to provide repair, maintenance or disposal support of their products.  

Cardiff University Professor Nick Pidgeon, who led the team conducting the research, said: “We were surprised by the level of agreement from the many people we surveyed and talked to in our workshops. It was overwhelmingly clear that people aren’t satisfied and want to see change. They really care about this. They want higher quality products and less waste. Improving resource efficiency is an easy win for both the public and the environment.” 

Green Alliance senior policy advisor on resources Libby Peake said: “People are frustrated by unnecessary, unrecyclable packaging and shoddy products that don’t last. The government has a clear mandate from the voting public to make sure these become things of the past. If it gets serious about dealing with this in its forthcoming resources strategy, it will not only be hugely popular with the public but also have a new route to tackling climate change.”

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