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Huge support for action on ‘shoddy’ products, say researchers

Researchers have admitted surprise at the ‘overwhelming’ level of public support for government action on inefficient and unsustainable material use in products and packaging.

Researchers have admitted surprise at the ‘overwhelming’ level of public support for government action on inefficient and unsustainable material use in products and packaging.

A survey of more than 1,000 people, conducted by Cardiff University and published in a new report by think tank, Green Alliance, shows that almost 90 per cent of people believe there is a strong need to shift to a society that uses resources more efficiently. A similar percentage believe all packaging should be made recyclable, while two thirds of people are ‘frustrated’ by products that do not last. 

A further 81 per cent think that businesses should be required to provide repair, maintenance or disposal support for their products, with three quarters believing the government should be responsible for ensuring this happens. 

‘Overwhelming support’

Professor Nick Pidgeon, who led the team conducting the research, admitted: “We were surprised by the level of agreement from the many people we surveyed and talked to in our workshops.

“It was overwhelmingly clear that people aren’t satisfied and want to see change. They really care about this. They want higher quality products and less waste. Improving resource efficiency is an easy win for both the public and the environment.”

MP Mary Creagh, chair of Parliament’s Environmental Audit Committee, said the report was “timely” and that “ministers must use every tool in the box to reduce the amount of plastic we use and boost recycling rates”.

The government is currently preparing a new Resources and Waste Strategy, which will be the country’s first official waste strategy for more than a decade.