Irish workers check recycling at the door

People in Ireland are fifteen times more likely to recycle in their home kitchen than they are at a kitchen in the workplace, new figures reveal.

A study of over 1,000 adults across the country showed that just three per cent of people still do not recycle in their own kitchen, but that figure rises to 47 per cent in the office.

The study – which was undertaken as part of this month’s national Repak Recycling Week – went on to show that almost all recycling trends slip during the 9 ’til 5.

Over 60 per cent of those questioned said they did not regularly recycle when at work. The most recycled item at the workplace is plastic drinks bottles, with 58 per cent claiming they would recycle them; still significantly lower than the nine out of ten who reported to recycle them at home, too.

This year’s Repak Recycling Week – which runs until Sunday (October 10) and through a series of promotional campaigns, will aim to bring the workplace up to speed with the home.

“This research shows that people are not bringing their good recycling habits in the household into their workplaces,” said Dr Andrew Hetherington, chief executive of Repak – a non-profit organisation set up by Irish industry leaders 13 years ago to promote recyclable packaging.

“This is of concern as we face ever increasing packaging recycling targets. However, more concerning for companies is they could be risking potential prosecution as it is illegal for organisations to knowingly dump recyclable packaging.”

Dr Hetherington added that just a few simple changes in the office can mean benefits for both businesses and the environment. He said: “Companies can save on their waste charges by implementing recycling systems and also help improve the work environment for the employees.”

Sam Plester

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie