Recycling at home becoming the norm

The majority of Britons now claim to be committed to recycling, with sorting the waste fast becoming the rule at home, rather than an exception.

Whilst, compared with its European neighbours, the UK is something of a late comer when it comes to recycling, it appears that decades of publicity campaigns, badgering from local authorities and even peer pressure are paying off.

According to waste quango WRAP (the Waste & Resources Action Programme), 61% of people in England believe themselves to be committed recyclers – those who recycle even if it requires additional effort and separate the lions share of the materials which can be recycled from the rest of their waste.

That means that, since WRAP last asked the country about its recycling habits in 2004, 8.5 million more people have been converted to regular recycling.

Liz Goodwin, WRAP’s Chief Executive, said: “Our results clearly show that we are making positive progress when it comes to recycling. More people now understand how important it is and are actively recycling on a regular basis.

“Over 80% of those surveyed said it was convenient for them to recycle. The increase in the availability of services to enable people to recycle more easily has been a key factor in driving this growth in commitment.”

The figures are based on 2,400 interviews on behalf of WRAP in February of this year.

While only 61% said they were committed recyclers, almost everyone asked (94%) accepted that recycling is important.

85% said they recycled a lot – or everything that could be recycled – compared to 65% three years ago.

Those who will admit to recycling are a rapidly shrinking minority, down from 13% in 2004 to just 5% now.

Sam Bond

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