Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Resource Association, the trade association for the reprocessing and recycling industries and their supply chain, today released the results of a survey of public opinion conducted by respected pollsters YouGov, showing clear public support for the use of recycled content in plastic bottles and legislation to require manufacturers to use recycled content.

In an online survey of 2,006 people across Great Britain, 68% of adults supported an increase in the price of a two pint plastic milk bottle by 0.1p in order to ensure that bottles were made from at least 30% recycled material and also recycled after use (38% strongly support, 30% tend to support).  Only 10% of adults were opposed.

In the same survey, 71% of adults would support the Government introducing legislation to require manufacturers/producers using a minimum amount of recycled content in products with plastic packaging (37% strongly support, 34% tend to support).  Only 6% of adults were opposed.

Ray Georgeson, Chief Executive of the Resource Association said:

“The great British public ‘gets’ recycling, and is sending a clear signal to industry and retailers alike – they support the UK plastics recycling industry and would support the fractional additional cost of 0.1p on a two pint plastic milk bottle that it will take to sustain reprocessing of recycled plastic milk bottles in the UK.  Interestingly, the public also support the idea of legislating to ensure that recycled content is used in plastic packaging.”

“The decision-makers in the supply chain must take note, wake up and act to support UK reprocessing through the storm of low oil prices and the turbulence this is causing to the sustainability of the UK plastic milk bottle processing infrastructure.”

“The public agrees with many in the industry that 0.1p a bottle is clearly a small price to pay for a sustainable recycling sector.  It requires nothing more than those who made this important voluntary commitment – a commitment upon which our reprocessing infrastructure has been built – to fulfil their pledges under the Dairy Roadmap and Courtauld Commitment.  They could do it this working day, and stem the growing uncertainty.”

YouGov poll results:




  1. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 2,006 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 23rd - 24th March 2015.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).
  2. The full spreadsheet of results from YouGov is available at ResourceAssociationResults_150324_plastic_bottles.xls and includes gender, age, demographic, geographical and voting intention breakdowns.
  3. The Resource Association focuses on championing the value of UK reprocessing and recycling in terms of employment, resource efficiency and integrity, carbon reduction and our role in the low-carbon, green economy.  It works with Governments across the UK, the European Commission, other trade associations and stakeholders with shared interests.  Our member companies and organisations represent an estimated £2.7bn contribution to UK GDP, the recovery and recycling of over 7 million tonnes annually and the employment of over 10,000 people.  Further information at
  4. The Dairy Road Map and Courtauld Commitment are voluntary agreements made by the retailers and major brand owners, facilitated by WRAP (the Waste and Resources Action Programme).  They contain important commitments to specify a minimum of 30% recycled content in plastic milk bottles. Dairy Road Map website: and Dairy Road Map:  and sustainability reports: Courtauld Commitment:
  5. Based on data supplied by our major member Closed Loop Recycling – based on a current price differential of c15% between virgin and recycled and a raw material cost of a 25g milk bottle of 2.2p – a 15% premium for rHDPE for the 30% recycled content specified in the commitment is an additional cost per bottle of 0.1p