Three quarters of Brits want reuse systems


A survey has revealed that three quarters (74%) of Brits want governments to force industry to create products and packaging that can be reused rather than ending up in a bin. 

The poll of 2,000 UK adults, conducted by Yonder, found that more than three quarters (76%) of Brits would return their packaging to shops if it was easy to do so. 

In response, environmental solutions group A Plastic Planet has called for a ban on household bins by 2030. 

Writing on opinion website Comment Central, Sian Sutherland, the group’s co-founder, says improvements to recycling collection rates – up from 8% to 44% in the last two decades – cover up continued failure to actually recycle the waste collected. 

Sutherland argues that a ‘waste revolution’ is needed where people abandon bins altogether in favour of a re-use model.   

The UK government has proposed that every household doubles its number of bins from three to six, with separate glass, metal (cans and tins), plastic (bottles and trays), paper and card, food waste and garden waste.

A Plastic Planet say a reduction in plastic production, a shift to natural alternatives and circular reusable packaging systems are essential to tackle the plastic crisis. 

In her opinion piece, Sutherland says: “We throw waste away into one of three or more bins and never think about it again, trusting it will have a good end.. But there are countless reports of UK waste that we think will be recycled actually being shipped off to faraway lands or just incinerated, all producing toxic chemicals that pollute our planet and poison our bodies.” 

“The black bin bag should be seen as our symbol of shame:  the embodiment of our take, make and throwaway culture.   

“I have come to a conclusion many people won’t like:  it’s time to ban the bin.  Government could put industry on notice that there will be no more “general waste” collections at all by 2030.   

“We should only collect stuff that is actually going to be recycled in the UK – food waste and some materials, but all other non-recyclable items would have to be produced on a re-use model.” 

Each person in the UK dumps an average of 560kg of ‘residual’ waste per year with the UK producing more plastic waste per head than any country in Europe. 

The amount of waste thrown away has increased tenfold over the past century, with levels set to increase again by 70 percent by 2050.   

A recent report from the National Audit Office criticised the government “a lack of long-term planning to tackle waste”, casting doubt on Defra’s target to reduce the amount of waste produced per person by 50% between now and the end of 2042.  

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