The majority of Swedes want recycled materials in products
A majority of Swedish people expect manufacturers to use recycled materials in their products, according to a survey conducted by Kantar/Sifo on behalf of the Circular Initiative. “This represents a challenge for the Swedish industry to create more circular material flows. It’s a necessity to ensure resources are available for future generations and preserve the environment”, says Fredrik Pettersson, Managing Director of Stena Recycling.
Moving from a linear to a circular economy requires recycling more materials and using them in the manufacture of new products. The new Kantar/Sifo survey shows that the Swedish people have a positive attitude towards recycled materials. 92 percent say they expect manufacturers to use more recycled materials in their products. At the same time, 57 percent state that they are prepared to pay extra for products made from recycled materials. The survey was carried out on behalf of the Circular Initiative, a collaborative forum for Swedish Industry, established last year.
“These are positive signals for us in the manufacturing industry. At Electrolux, circular thinking has long been a priority, but the findings also present several challenges. For example, there are relatively well-developed systems for collecting materials for recycling, currently, but the quality of secondary raw materials needs to be higher. At the same time, we are working to ensure that sustainable solutions do not lead to disadvantages for consumers – it should not cost more to do the right thing, quite the reverse. In order to achieve success with these issues, it is important to work well with other stakeholders, such as Stena Recycling, within the Circular Initiative”, says Henrik Sundström, Global Sustainability Manager at Electrolux.
The survey also shows that a majority of those asked believe manufacturing companies should be driving this change. 67 percent think that companies should take the lead in increasing the use of recycled materials. In comparison, only 24 percent believe that politicians should have the most important role.
“It is clear that we must join forces to create a sustainable future for the generations to come. By innovating and utilizing its inherent creativity, the manufacturing industry has a great opportunity to break new ground and create more loops for recycling materials in society. The high level of technology and expertise in Sweden means we have the ideal conditions to become more circular”, says Dennis Helfridsson, CEO of ABB AB.
The Circular Initiative collaboration was launched by Stena Recycling last year to find opportunities that create more circular material flows within the Swedish industry. ABB, Combitech, Electrolux, and Stora Enso have been partners since the start, with more companies being encouraged to participate. The aim is to move from word to action and develop concrete solutions that produce results.
“There is a desire for this among consumers and a definite need from an environmental and climate perspective. We must act now. New collaborations and tests are underway in several different areas, and we will shortly be presenting the results of this year’s work. We look forward to a new era, with smarter solutions that better utilize our shared resources. Together, we will create more sustainable industry and consumption”, says Fredrik Pettersson, Managing Director of Stena Recycling.
Facts: Swedish attitudes to recycled material
The survey was conducted by Kantar/Sifo, between March 16 and 18, on behalf of the Circular Initiative. One thousand respondents in Sweden took part in the survey.