How The UK Public Really Feel About Plastic, Rubbish And Recycling

Three quarters of people want the products they use on a daily basis to be recyclable and reusable.

The UK public want real change on rubbish, a new study has found, with 90 per cent of more than 1,000 people surveyed expressing a belief that as a society we need to implement a strong shift towards using resources more efficiently.

The new survey from Cardiff University was conducted with the think tank Green Alliance and is part of a research project for the Centre for Industrial Materials, Energy and Products (CIEMAP), made up of a coalition of universities.

Three quarters of people of those surveyed are increasingly worried about the UK’s waste problem, and want the products they use on a daily basis to be recyclable and reusable.

Two thirds of those surveyed said they were frustrated by products that do not last, and 81 per cent felt businesses should provide repair, maintenance or eco friendly disposal of their products.

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The research also suggests that redesigning products reduce packaging could cut the emissions associated with commonly used household products by 20 per cent, and those savings could be doubled if everyday products could be shared via schemes such as with car-sharing clubs.

Professor Nick Pidgeon, who led the team conducting the research, said he was “surprised” by the level of agreement from people surveyed.

“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,” he said.

Mary Creagh MP, chair of the Environmental Audit Committee added: “Becoming a resource efficient economy is a vital part of tackling climate change, as this timely report shows. Ministers must use every tool in the box to reduce the amount of plastic we use, and boost recycling rates.”