Which? urges supermarkets to make refillable products widely available

Which? has urged supermarkets and manufacturers to do more to make refillable products widely available and clearly labelled.

The consumer watchdog said that while refillable products are increasingly popular, shoppers are struggling to find these products on supermarket shelves.

On top of this, a lack of clear labelling has meant that many consumers don’t know that refills are available for personal care and cleaning products.

The organisation carried out a survey of more than 2,000 members of the public which found that three-quarters were open to buying refillable products.

However, only a third had seen these products on sale.

A further three in 10 said difficulty finding refillable products was the main reason they had not purchased any in the last year.

Which? also analysed the packaging of 12 popular refillable personal care and home cleaning products and found the majority did not have labels on the standard packaging indicating they could be refilled when they are finished.

It also found that for eco-friendly products, five out of the 12 lacked labels to let customers know whether the packaging of the original or refill was recyclable.

Only a third of the sets of products analysed had packaging that could be fully recycled in most councils’ household collections.

“Our research shows there is demand and savings to be had for consumers who switch to refills,” said Michael Briggs, head of sustainability at Which? “However, many shoppers have trouble finding them on supermarket shelves and a lack of clear labelling means consumers may be unaware that a refillable option is available.”

Briggs added: “Which? is calling on brands and supermarkets to make refillable products more widely available to customers. Recycling labels should also be provided on all grocery products so that people know how they can responsibly dispose of the items they use.”

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