Resource Use

Half of UK public aware of unnecessary plastic recycling, reveals research

Research commissioned by Bakers Basco and carried out by YouGov has revealed that around half (46 per cent) of the UK public think too much multi-use plastic is recycled unnecessarily.

Alongside this, the research, which was carried out on a sample of 2,106 adults earlier this month, also found that 58 per cent believed businesses have a part to play in tackling this issue, while 56 per cent thought the same about local councils and 46 per cent about the Government.

Sturdy plastic bakery delivery traysBakers Basco, which manufactures and supplies bread delivery baskets for plant bakeries across the UK, set out to uncover public knowledge about and attitudes towards plastic use in the food industry, and specifically in the bakery sector.

While 61 per cent of respondents were certain that bread baskets and food delivery trays are reused time and time again, only 5 per cent were aware of the practice of shredding plastic to sell back to the plastics industry, and 3 per cent knew that plastics are all too often recycled illegally by a third party. 9 per cent were aware that these sturdy plastics often end up in landfill.

In terms of public attitudes towards plastic litter, 48 per cent agreed they would report abandoned plastic in their local area to a local council. However, 28 per cent stated they would want to take action, but were unaware about how to report such incidents.

“There is a very real problem in the UK regarding the unnecessary recycling of plastic that is designed to be used over and over again,” said Paul Empson, General Manager of Bakers Basco.

“Millions of these baskets and other food delivery equipment go missing every year presenting a growing problem for the UK’s transport and logistics industries, and the unethical recycling of stolen plastic items that don’t need to be recycled.”

“We all have a responsibility to play our part in this - local councils, the government, businesses, recycling companies and individuals themselves - but it requires a collaborative effort by all parties to help tackle the problem,” added Empson.