The results of a new YouGov survey, released by Veolia, show that British consumers are demanding more packaging to be both recyclable and made from recycled material. Over half, for example, would favour a new drink – of a similar price, quality and flavour – in a recyclable bottle over their regular choice, if its packaging was unrecyclable, it revealed.
Released to coincide with the official opening of Veolia’s Dagenham Plastics Facility, the survey added that 30% of adults now consider recyclable packaging ‘important’ when choosing a drink to buy… more important than the brand (26%) and the aesthetics of the bottle (9%).
Veolia says that 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, said: “In the UK we fail to capture 44% 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.”
Part of London’s Aims
Speaking at the official opening of Veolia’s Dagenham Plastic Facility (which produces approximately 10,000 tonnes of high quality food grade HDPE pellets annually), Rajesh Agrawal, Deputy Mayor of London for Business, said: “London continues to be the leading destination for European companies looking to scale up. There are many opportunities for businesses in London’s outer boroughs and Veolia’s investment in Dagenham will bring jobs and prosperity to the area. Clearly, London remains open to talent, investment and business from around the world.
“The Mayor is committed to helping Londoners recycle more and waste less, as we aim for 65 percent recycling by 2030. This facility is an example of the circular approach to using resources Sadiq has adopted. By taking London’s plastic bottles and reprocessing them in the capital we’re keeping valuable resources circulating and creating value in the local economy. What’s more, this research is encouraging news and shows that messages about reducing the amount of materials we waste are changing consumers’ attitudes.”