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Consumers Are At The Heart Of Plastic Reduction Efforts, But Retailers Are Responding

August 30, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
According to Euromonitor, nearly two-thirds (63%) of containers for food, drinks, home, beauty and pet food are plastic, because of its durability, versatility and other characteristics. Recycling or reuse rates, however, are not high enough, partly because of consumer confusion over what can be recycled, perpetuated by a lack of standardization in packaging. Few countries have the recycling infrastructure and rates of Germany, which runs deposit schemes for plastic bottles, but the effort to increase rates is also hampered by consumers being used to disposing of items. Change is afoot. Consumers are more alive to plastic waste issues. Surveys suggest they are more willing today than two years ago to pay more for options that are better for the environment. Retailers like IKEA and UK-based Iceland are reacting to this change. IKEA is stopping the use of oil-based plastics, pledging to manufacture 100% of its products from recycled materials from August next year. It is also ending the use of single-use plastic products from stores and restaurants. Iceland has announced removal of plastic containers from private label products by 2023, using paper trays rather than plastic. [Image Credit: © mohamed Hassan from Pixabay]
Alison Angus and Gina Westbrook , "Un mundo libre de plástico – A world free of plastic", Euromonitor International, August 30, 2019, © Euromonitor
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