Scottish consumers spend £600 million annually on single-use packaging

Zero Waste Scotland, a government-funded waste reduction and resource efficiency organisation, has published a report to highlight the hidden cost of grocery packaging.

The report has revealed that the average Scottish household buys 130 kilogrammes of single-use grocery packaging each year, costing almost £250 (€278) and accounting for roughly 7 per cent of the average annual grocery bill.

Zero Waste Scotland’s report highlights that behavioural science means that consumers will avoid packaging if they are aware of how much it is costing them. If consumers are informed about the hidden costs of single-use packaging, they are more likely to seek reusable packaging and packaging-free alternatives.

Scotland’s deposit return scheme (DRS), announced in May, aims to boost recycling rates by placing a price value on packaging. The scheme will see a 20 pence fee charged on top of the cost of a product, which can then be recouped when the product is returned to the retailer for recycling.