Nearly nine out of 10 UK households say they “regularly recycle”, with more prepared to further change their lifestyles to help the environment, research reveals. Statistics released on Monday by the Recycle Now campaign show despite the challenges and restrictions of lockdown, the UK appears to be becoming more environmentally aware. Shortly after the lockdown, 73% of consumers said they were willing to do more to help the environment, up from 68% in 2019. At the same time, 93% of UK households believe “everyone has a responsibility to help towards cleaning up the environment”. Just under one in 10 (9%) admit they recycle only occasionally and one in 25 (4%) “rarely” or “never”.
On average, UK households dispose of 1.5 items each day that could be recycled in the general rubbish – mainly foil, aerosols and plastic detergent or cleaning bottles. The majority (82%) mistakenly put one or more items in the recycling that are not accepted by local collections, predominantly plastic film/wrapping, toothpaste tubes and glass cookware. Wrap says its own data shows recyclable tonnage surged by a quarter early in lockdown but with the exception of garden waste “most kerbside collections were maintained throughout lockdown”.
Separate polling published on Monday reveals the challenges of recycling in densely populated areas, with one in three in Londoners admitting they find recycling information dkiwifficult to understand. The findings came from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, which will unveil a partnership with Innocent drinks and environmental charity Hubbub to try to boost recycling rates.