Brits happy to recycle glass bottles through exiting household collections, poll reveals

UK – New polling undertaken by Savanta and published by British Glass shows that the British public wants to continue to recycle through their existing household glass collections.

According to the report, most of the adults polled prefer recycling their glass bottles through existing household collections, rather than through a deposit return scheme (DRS).

The UK Government is due to publish details of plans for the scheme’s rollout in early 2023.

Alongside this, the new polling shows that two-thirds of UK adults (69%) polled say that recycling glass bottles through household waste collections would be more convenient than returning them to a dedicated return point, like a supermarket.

This figure increases to 77% for those aged 65+, who are more likely to find returning their bottles to reverse vending machines challenging.

Currently, the English and Northern Irish governments remain on course to exclude glass packaging from the scope of their DRS. However, Wales and Scotland currently plan to include glass.

British Glass argues that the best solution for recycling glass is to collect all glass packaging at the kerbside through an “improved system” of consistent collections and a new extended producer responsibility scheme, not through a DRS.

Speaking following the publication of the finding, British Glass’ Chief Executive, Dave Dalton, said: “The British public are already great at recycling their glass at home, and these findings stress how important it is to keep glass bottles as part of existing household collections.

“The public doesn’t want to recycle glass bottles through a DRS, and as such, introducing such a scheme would likely have a detrimental impact on glass recycling rates. We need to make recycling more, not less, convenient for consumers by keeping glass recycling kerbside.”

Dalton argues that this is the only way the sector can achieve 90% recycling rate for glass packaging by 2030.

“In addition to our concerns surrounding consumer convenience, we have long argued that including glass in a DRS is worse for the environment, leading to increased industry emissions and encouraging consumers to switch to plastic packaging,” he added.

Meanwhile, a report by TIPA revealed that most adults in the UK support replacing plastic packaging with compostable alternatives.

The report shows that 85% of respondents would back a ban on conventional plastic packaging if compostable solutions were available, while 89% called on local councils to collect all recyclable or compostable packaging from households.

These reports are a sign of progress in the country as the UK aims to make all plastic packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025 and recycle or compost 70% of plastic packaging in this timeframe.

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