Conducted by Direct365, the research highlighted that more needs to be done to inform future generations on how to minimise waste and promote eco-friendliness.

As part of their Green365 campaign, which aims to help industries reduce their environmental impact, Direct365 asked 750 people a range of questions as to what measures schools can take to improve waste management.

The survey showed that almost 30% want to see schools teach kids how to prevent food waste, while 25% stated that energy-saving lessons should be on the National Curriculum. 11% felt that children need more guidance on saving water.

Direct365 general manager Sam Tinsley said: “There are plenty of statistics out there that emphasise how much damage we are doing to the planet by sending waste to landfills unnecessarily, and there’s also lots of research in place that explains how much energy and water we’re wasting on a daily basis.”

“Schools must reinforce this message, whether that means making formal changes to the National Curriculum or introducing a more informal, holistic approach. Bad habits are hard to break, and it’s far easier to maintain an eco-friendly approach to life if you have been doing the right things from a young age.”

Ambitious targets

Direct 365 claimed that a greater understanding on the benefits of recycling and eco-friendliness in schools is needed to help the UK reach its climate change targets. The UK is expected to slash its carbon emissions by 80% by 2050 (set against base levels from 1990).

A study published by the DEFRA earlier this year showed that the amount of waste sent for recycling varied across different parts of the UK. The report confirmed that at local authority level, recycling rates ranged from 18% to 66%, which underlines that greater consistency is needed.

Despite this recycling rates in England are up 45% from last year, with 75% of people over 55 recycling as much as possible. Yet there is still confusion within the younger generation of what can and can’t be recycled. Understanding waste management from a young age could be a key factor in changing the disparity.

For further reading on this subject, check out edie’s 8 surprising statistics about the circular economy.

Matt Mace

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