Three in ten people do not recycle as much as they could, finds news poll

12 September 2016 (Last Updated September 12th, 2016 18:30)

A new poll indicates almost three in ten people do not recycle as much as they could, with 38% stating it is due to confusing information on packaging or local authorities.

A new poll indicates almost three in ten people do not recycle as much as they could, with 38% stating it is due to confusing information on packaging or local authorities.

The poll was conducted by Serco’s environmental services business and long-term research partner Future Thinking, which surveyed over 12,000 members of the general public.

The results show 57% of 16 to 34 year olds were least likely to say they recycle all they can and more likely to be confused about what can be recycled. This finding raises questions about the ways councils and service providers communicate with younger audiences.

"Clearer and consistent information would help people understand what items to put in the right bins and recycle more."

Residents of Wales said they were already recycling all they can (75%) when compared to those living in West Midlands (69%) and London (68%). 

Other reasons given for not recycling included the need for collections to be more frequent (8%), the need for some kind of financial reward (5%), and unavailability of recycling bags or bins (5%).

Serco's business development director for environmental services Robin Davies said: “While it is encouraging that a large proportion of people believe they already recycle all they can, the fact is that recycling rates, especially in England, have plateaued over recent years.

“Councils and service providers put a lot of effort into communicating guidelines to local residents, but their job would be made easier if we all worked together to simplify and standardise recycling information.

“Clearer and consistent information would help people understand what items to put in the right bins and recycle more, leaving local authorities to set their waste collection policies to suit local needs, and building greater confidence among the public that items that can be recycled are being recycled."