New research by mobile phone company T-Mobile showed that only a small percentage of people think they are as environmentally friendly as they could be.

However, almost 90% of those surveyed said they recycle household waste at home – with the over 55s the most committed group.

Almost half of those questioned are also recycling their electronic waste, such toasters, kettles and old mobile phones.

T-Mobile said the results were encouraging but it was still up to big firms to help consumers to be greener.

Allison Murray, corporate responsibility manager for T-Mobile, told edie: “I think it’s important for companies to be making it as easy as possible and I think that’s what is going to really see a big shift in behaviour.”

The firm, which has had a recycling scheme for its mobile handsets since 2004, relaunched the scheme last year to provide a recycling bag with every new phone and offer an incentive of cashback or a charity donation of up to £80.

Ms Murray said: “Within the first three or four months, we saw uptake triple so now, a year on, we are looking at it again to see if it’s as effective as possible.”

In December the firm also installed smart meters at 6,000 network sites to measure electricity use in a bid to reduce T-Mobile’s carbon footprint.

Their efforts are being mirrored among the general population, with about three quarters of those surveyed saying they use energy efficient light bulbs and turn off electronic equipment rather than leaving it on standby to reduce their energy consumption.

The poll also revealed that young people are seen as the vanguard of the green revolution.

Sixty per cent believe children and teenagers have the best knowledge of green issues and 42% believe this is because youngsters are genuinely concerned about changes to the environment within their lifetime.

Kate Martin

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