Too much excess packaging, say consumers in YouGov poll

71 per cent of people believe supermarkets and retailers use too much packaging, says research from YouGov for the Local Government Association.

Excess packaging wastePolling by YouGov for the Local Government Association (LGA) has highlighted consumer frustration with excess packaging, with a significant majority (71 per cent) believing that supermarkets and retailers use too much.

The poll also found that 88 per cent believe that packaging should only be made from recyclable material, and that it should have clearer labelling.

The fieldwork for the poll took place online between 1 - 2 November 2023, with a total sample size of 2,112 adults. Results from the poll were weighted to be representative of all adults in England and Wales.

The poll also found that:

  • 85 per cent of people think companies should be required by Government to reduce the amount of packaging used
  • People are six times more likely to trust councils to run waste and recycling services (52 per cent) than the Government (6 per cent) or industry (8 per cent)
  • People are 12 times more likely to think packaging recycling costs should be met by producers (48 per cent) rather than councils (4 per cent)

EPR for Packaging

Alongside councils nationwide, the LGA is applying pressure on all political parties to pledge to introduce the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) scheme. The LGA also wants the Government to ensure that councils have the autonomy to run waste and recycling services according to the needs of their individual communities. Finally, the LGA wants to ensure that councils receive the necessary funding to deliver waste management services in good time – to allow for effective long-term planning.

Councils want to see the EPR scheme expanded out from packaging to include other items and materials, such as littering and furniture.

Cllr Darren Rodwell, environment spokesperson for the LGA said:

“Good packaging is essential for keeping products fresh and intact, and producers are doing more to reduce waste and support recycling. But everybody can see the levels of waste, across our shop shelves, delivered to our homes, and into our bins. Councils see it every day and spend millions dealing with it.

“We support reforms for packaging taking responsibility for meeting costs and in helping further reduce and recycle packaging waste, it is crucial that the costs are met and that councils continue to lead local waste and recycling services.”

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