Third of general public can't 'be bothered to recycle'

A third of the public can't be bothered to recycle - even though 95% of people think recycling is important, according to new research.

A poll of 2,000 people by packing manufacturer Tetra Pak to determine recycling habits revealed that 40% of respondents don't recycle everyday, with more than half of respondents sometimes binning recyclable waste.

It found common reasons for not recycling included being in a rush or running late (34%), while 32% admitted that sometimes they can't be bothered.

According to the research, it appears where we are in our homes has an impact on whether or not we make time to recycle properly. While the majority of people (91%) recycle when we are in our kitchens, one in five of people regularly bin waste when they are in a bathroom or bedroom.

Commenting on the findings, Channel 4 's 'How Clean Is Your House' star, Aggie MacKenzie, said: "As everyone knows I love a clean and tidy house, but it's really important we don't prioritise convenience over good recycling habits."

Despite this, the report concluded that 80% of people do have a 'green conscience' as 40% of respondents said they feel guilty about failing to recycle. In addition, over two thirds of the population believe they recycle to the best of their ability the majority of the time.

In addition, it seems the desire to be polite is getting in the way of good recycling behaviour, with 60% of respondents saying they felt it would be rude to ask friends or relatives to recycle. Similarly, over a fifth of people are concerned about coming across as an 'eco-warrior' or 'green nag' by encouraging others to adopt green habits.

Tetra Pak's environment and communications director, Rupert Maitland-Titterton, said: "It is really encouraging to see that so many people in the UK think recycling is so important; however it seems that good habits are getting abandoned too easily.

"We believe strongly in protecting the environment and minimising our impact on it. By making small changes to our day-to-day recycling habits we can all help boost recycling levels in the UK and help to protect our environment, now and in the future."

Carys Matthews



Waste & resource management
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