Plastic packaging

56% of consumers said measures such as the 5p charge for plastic bags did not go far enough.

A majority of UK consumers believe existing measures to reduce the environmental impact of plastic waste do not go far enough, a new survey reveals.

In research of 20,000 UK consumers commissioned by compostable packaging company TIPA, 56% said measures such as the 5p charge for plastic bags did not go far enough.

Those aged 55-plus cared most about the issue - 89% compared with 73% of 25 to 34-year-olds and 70% of those 18 to 24, the research by OnePoll found.

The survey comes after Theresa May pledged this year to eliminate plastic waste by 2042.

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A fifth of respondents believe the target is most realistic, but nearly a quarter believe plastic waste should be eliminated in the next five to 10 years.

Appreciation of the plastic waste issue is high - with 90% of consumer acknowledging they understand the problem and the impact on the environment and in the food chain.

The survey also indicated widespread awareness of the problems in processing black plastic packaging and knowledge about compostable packaging.

“The UK public is now very aware of the issue of plastic waste and beginning to understand that most packaging used by retailers goes to landfill, as recycling plants are unable to handle many types of plastic waste. [They also realise] biodegradable doesn’t mean that the plastic disappears completely,” said TIPA chief executive Daphna Nissenbaum.

“This research shows that government and private organisations need to work together to swiftly bring through new types of packaging that leave no trace on the environment and alleviate these justified consumer concerns,” she added.