'Buy Recycled' research report

Monday, 13 June, 2005

Research on stakeholder perceptions com-missioned by the Buy Recycled Business Alliance (BRBA) has found that 74% or 17 of the 24 members surveyed have an environ-mental committee for buying products that contain recycled materials.

The research was carried out by the Link Alliance, a group project developed by marketing students from St George TAFE. It involved conducting focus groups, telephone surveys and face-to-face interviews with BRBA members, potential members, government bodies, industry and consumers.

The BRBA is a non-profit alliance of pro-sustainability businesses established in 1999 to promote the purchase and use of recycled content products and materials. Its foundation members include ACI Glass Packaging, Amcor, Australian Paper, Coca-Cola Amatil, Coles Myer, Corporate Express, Fosters, Fuji-Xerox, McDonalds, Signode, Visy Industries, as well as other major corporations and small to medium enterprises.

The Link Alliance research focused on the strategies BRBA needs to adopt to achieve more traction for recycled content products.

Significantly, BRBA members and half of the potential BRBA members cited en-vironmental leadership as the main reason for either joining BRBA or buying recycled content products.

Of the potential members, 62% of the 100 respondents said their companies give preference to environmentally responsible suppliers, but only 12% had formal contract clauses to that effect.

The Link Alliance research found some key obstacles to the buying of recycled content products. These were the fragmentation of the Australian environment industry, our abund-ance of natural resources and low density of population and the difficulty of identifying recycled content products due to a lack of specific labelling.

Whilst consumers wanted to buy recycled content products, they were often unable to identify the suppliers of these products.

Additionally, buying recycled was not found to be a priority on the government environmental agenda, with policies tending to encourage it only where price or quality compared favourably.

The report provides a foundation for the BRBA to review its service offerings. The statistics and data collected during the research are to be developed into a useful tool for members and stakeholders to use.

The full report is available at www.brba.com.au

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