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Wales worry about plastic pollution the most in the UK

Ball Corporation, the world’s leading beverage can maker, has launched a survey during Recycle Week from 24 – 30 September 2018, revealing that Wales is the most worried country about plastic pollution in the UK, with 90% stating they are worried against the national average of 86% British adults.

[aoa id=”1″]Plastic pollution is a high concern in Wales, with 81% of people in Wales claiming to often take action to reduce plastic pollution against the national average of 67%, for example by recycling and changing shopping habits to buy alternatives to disposable plastic. However, 1 in 10 (10%) of people in Wales still don’t understand what they can and cannot recycle.[/aoa]

In spite of efforts to improve recycling rates and only 2% of people in Wales claiming they don’t have time to recycle, there is a lot of confusion out there and numerous factors preventing people from taking more action. Over a third of people in Wales (37%) state not enough drinks are available in non-plastic packaging where they shop, whilst nearly a third (31%) state there are not enough recycling bins in public spaces in their local area.

Aluminium cans offer a fully recyclable alternative to drinking from plastic bottles or cups, and achieve very high recycling rates of 72% in the UK (69% globally compared with plastic bottles at 43%), yet over a third of people in Wales (36%) wrongly believe that aluminium beverages are recycled at the same rate as plastic bottles, glass containers or drink cartons. Furthermore, nearly a third of people (31%) don’t know that aluminium cans can be recycled infinitely without losing quality, when in fact, nearly 75% of all aluminium ever produced is still in use today, as aluminium retains its properties indefinitely.

Ramon Arratia, Sustainability Director at Ball Beverage Packaging Europe states

“These figures reflect a challenge that we face not only in Wales but on a global scale, to ensure everyone is fully informed about what can and cannot be recycled. Making a positive choice for an aluminium beverage, which is one of the most sustainable and eco-friendly forms of packaging on the shelves, is one small but significant thing we can all do to help protect the environment. Regardless of colour or design, the can is fully recyclable, and we currently have 72% recycling rates in the UK, with 90% of these cans recycled in continental Europe. By contrast, the global recycling rates for plastic and glass are 43% and 46% respectively. The UK already has all the infrastructure for recycling cans in place which means this is not a solution for the future, but rather something we can all do right now.”