A report by sustainable packaging firm TIPA found that 48% of the British public wanted to see the changes made in food and drink packaging, with one in five admitting they had thrown away recyclable packaging because it wasn’t clearly labelled.
TIPA also found that up to half of shoppers (46%) thought producers were not doing enough to make their plastic packaging compostable, while 49% said they would like to see the introduction of labelling to identify if packaging was compostable.
Commenting on the report, TIPA chief executive Daphna Nissenbaum said: “We’re now at a point where people better understand the damage of plastic waste and are keen to reduce their carbon footprint but aren’t always sure how best to go about it.
Playing it safe
“This often leads people to ‘play it safe’ with packaging they aren’t sure is recyclable, due to unclear or unlabelled packaging, and [they] end up using the wrong receptacles. This can cause unnecessary strain on recycling centres that have to sift through hundreds of tonnes of non-recyclable matter.”
Nissenbaum called on the food packaging industry to do more to provide consumers with the tools to identify recyclable products.
“It is therefore incumbent on stakeholders in retail, groceries and the wider supply chain to clearly demarcate which packaging is 'plastic-free' and which is suitable for recycling,” she added.
“By supporting consumers in this way, they will inspire greater brand trust among a public whose conscientiousness with plastic waste is only going to grow further in the future.”