New research from business analyst Mintel claims that 84% of British adults look at packaging to see its recycling credentials.

This figure suggests that recycling credentials are more important to a consumer than fat, salt and calorie content. According to Mintel, in the UK, 80% of adults look at salt content, 79% look at sugar and 70% calorie content.

The consumer research is based on a sample of 1,000 internet users aged over 16.

"The popularity of recycling is testament to the success of the green lobby in getting consumers to think about the packaging our food comes in," said David Bird, senior consumer analyst at Mintel. "With legislation such as ’Pay as You Throw’ being mooted for the future, it would seem that people’s interest in recyclable packaging is only set to increase.

"But one of the major issues here is that consumers are bombarded with a host of different recycling labels on food packaging. To encourage more consumers to recycle more often, it needs to be as simple as possible for everyone to sort out what packaging can be recycled and what cannot."

People in the UK struggle with food labels, as the research showed 55% of adults find the print too small and just under half feel that the packaging is often too cluttered. With the older generations, 84% feel that the print is too small. One in five of all adults (17%) said that they do not trust the information anyway.