BETTER INFORMATION ON WHAT HAPPENS TO RECYCLING WILL ENCOURAGE MORE RECYCLING: RESOURCE ASSOCIATION

Monday, September 12, 2016

The Resource Association today released the headline results of new public opinion research showing the continued low level of information the public have about what happens to their recycling and public hunger for more and better information.

In a survey of English residents conducted for the Resource Association by ICM Unlimited, 77% do not know where their recycling goes once it has been collected. Only 12% said they knew exactly where their materials go for recycling and what happens to them.

Most significantly, the research shows that better information about what happens to recycling and its end destination is a key motivator for people to recycle. 44% said that better information on what happens to recycling and where it goes would make them more or much more likely to recycle. This was especially strong with younger people, with 57% of 18-24 year olds saying more information would encourage them to recycle more actively.

Resource Association Chief Executive Ray Georgeson said:

“The results of this research strengthen our view that much more must be done to improve public information on what happens to recycling and transparency on the end destinations of recycling. This has become even more important, as local authorities struggle to maintain their recycling provision and strive towards the country’s 50% recycling target.

“Better information and transparency is a low cost intervention what has the potential to significantly uplift recycling rates by being more directly informative about what actually happens and where it goes, and reducing the potential for public inaction through disinterest or even cynicism about the result of their recycling collection efforts.  This is especially true of younger people who indicate clearly their interest in better information and yet are often the least committed recyclers.

“I believe Government and local authorities can act quickly to address this and I call again on all parts of the recycling supply chain to support councils wanting to provide better information to their residents.  If we are serious about still meeting the 50% target, with this being such a straightforward low cost intervention to make, I defy anyone in the collection and sorting parts of our sector justifying continued resistance to the imperative of transparency and call again on local authorities, collection companies and others in the recycling supply chain to adopt our End Destination of Recycling Charter and work together to capture this realisable prize – of more recycling with better information.”

Results from the survey can be downloaded here