You should know by now that here at Hydropac we’re just a bit keen on recycling…after all, we do have a product called “Recycle-Air” and we’re big believers in everyone doing their bit to reduce landfill waste and reuse/recycle where possible. And we’re not the only ones – eco-awareness is bigger now than ever before with many big brands taking up the cause but how many people actually recycle properly?
Negligent recycling isn’t always the result of carelessness, and there are a few reasons why:
- The UK does not at present have a national strategy for recycling and different local authorities can accept different things and process them in different ways.
- Hard as it is to believe, many products still do not have recycling instructions on them, or they’re included almost as an afterthought in tiny print somewhere like the inside of a lid.
- Recycling symbols can be confusing, with the “Keep Britain Tidy” logo often being confused for the “recycling” logo as an example.
- There are so many myths out there as well as to what can and can’t be recycled that it’s no wonder products end up in landfill when they should be back out there being recycled as something else.
UK Recycling Stats
Going back to the original question, what are the stats around recycling in the UK?
- 75% of people recycle, both at home and in their workplace if they can.
- Only half of UK businesses offer recycling facilities, however, with many employees either only given the option of a general waste bin or taking their recycling home to do there.
- From 1000 SMEs surveyed, only 1 in 3 (29%) believe they need to encourage customers to recycle.
- The UK has good systems in place for “easy” recycling – paper, glass, clear plastics, but more complex items are where the problems lie – black plastic, for example.
- Items made from PVC and Polystyrene CAN be recycled, but many local authorities will not accept them, even if they have the approved recycling symbols on them. this goes back to the point above about each local authority having different processes and systems in place, and instead of moving these items to a facility that can process them, they are sent to landfill instead – more cost effective, even if the planet doesn’t think so!
- Whilst eco-awareness is constantly on the rise, 90% of people who worry about recycling most are aged over 55
- That said, actually acting and reducing waste seems easier said than done – only 67% of people say they “often” change their shopping habits to buy eco-friendly alternatives
Some of these are real eye openers and it’s important that, moving forward, companies take it upon themselves to spread awareness of the importance of recycling and reuse, not only internally but to their customers where possible. Whilst a lot of people have good intentions, these are in vain if their efforts are being thwarted by local authority processes, misleading labels and a lack of support outside the home.