Convenience stores have called on councils to be more consistent in their approach to kerbside recycling systems to help people recycle more.
The call from the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) comes after recycling and waste management company Viridor highlighted increasing frustration among the public at the different ways councils collect waste.
Viridor’s 2017 UK Recylcing Index report found:
- · 78% of consumers believe their council should be responsible for recycling
- · 71% think recycling rates would increase if a consistent recycling collection system existed around the UK
- · 66% are frustrated that different councils collect waste in different ways – a 3% uplift on last year.
The research also found that 44% are willing to pay for a deposit return scheme (DRS) for plastic bottles; 43% feel very confident that they put different waste in the right bins and only 16% feel recycling labelling on product packaging is very easy to understand.
Sarah Heald, director of corporate affairs and investor relations at Viridor’s parent company, Pennon Group, said: “This research shows the public increasingly expects sustainable recycling for all packaging.”
This was especially true for plastics which they considered to be the most polluting of all household items.
She called on the government to “seize the mantle and define a bold new post-Brexit policy framework for waste”.
James Lowman, ACS chief executive, said the findings of the Viridor report tallied with it its own research that showed kerbside collections were the most popular method for people to recycle their waste packaging.
But it was clear councils must address inconsistencies with kerbside collections to help consumers recycle more.
“It is clear that UK consumers are divided about the merits of a deposit return scheme. Introducing DRS would have a significant negative impact on the convenience sector, costing stores money, reducing the amount of space in stores and causing delays at the till for those who would have to manage the scheme manually.”
The ACS would continue to work with the government to explain the retail impact of a DRS, Lowman added.