Two-thirds of UK’s branded food packaging ‘is not fully recyclable’

An analysis of 89 popular branded groceries also showed four-in-ten products had no labelling to show if they could be recycled

Big Zero Report 2022

Almost two-thirds of the UK’s best-selling branded groceries come in packaging, which is not fully recyclable.

That’s according to new research by the product review platform Which? that looked at 89 popular branded groceries across ten top-selling categories of food and drink and found only 34% had packaging that could be fully recycled.

The analysis also highlighted four-in-ten products had no labelling to show if they could be recycled.

Researchers, who looked at ten different categories of items, including popular brands of chocolate, crisps, yoghurts, cheese and cereals, also found crisps had the lowest recyclability rate, with just 3% of packaging recyclable.

Among the chocolate snacks Which? analysed, almost a third of the packaging used was not recyclable.

The most recyclable category was fizzy drinks, which were found to be 100% recyclable.

Natalie Hitchins, Which? Head of Home Products and Services, said: “Consumers are crying out for brands that take sustainability seriously and products that are easy to recycle, but for any real difference to be made to the environment, manufacturers need to maximise their use of recyclable and recycled materials and ensure products are correctly labelled.

“To reduce the waste that goes to landfill, the government must make labelling mandatory, simple and clear, enabling shoppers to know exactly how to dispose of the packaging on the products they consume.”

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