Brits’ wasteful admission prompts calls for radical recycling change

·2 min read
DS Smith have created a larger-than-life recycling bin to demonstrate the scale of changes needed to the UK’s recycling infrastructure
DS Smith have created a larger-than-life recycling bin to demonstrate the scale of changes needed to the UK’s recycling infrastructure

Brits are embarrassed by the volume of waste they produce according to new research.

Over a third (35 per cent) are ashamed by the amount they’re sending to landfill with over half (51 per cent) saying their household produces too much.

And nearly three quarters (74 per cent) reported concern around the impact of waste on the environment, with well over a third worrying their recycling isn’t being dealt with properly.

A whopping 38 per cent of respondents reckon their recycling is ending up in landfill – or even being incinerated – with seven in ten (70 per cent) agreeing that we urgently need more information about what we can and cannot recycle.

New research by leading recycling and packaging company DS Smith revealed the startling findings, with figures also showing nearly half of Brits (47 per cent) say their recycling facilities need to be bigger.

And more than one in ten (12 per cent) admit to putting excess recycling in the rubbish bin – meaning it is likely to end up in landfill or be incinerated.

Nearly half (49 per cent) want to use more paper and cardboard packaging over plastic as it is easier to recycle.

And the top items respondents reported recycling more of since the pandemic included online shopping packaging (38 per cent), hand soap containers (30 per cent) and toilet rolls (25 per cent).

Roger Gerritsen, Managing Director of Recycling at DS Smith, is calling for greater consistency in our recycling infrastructure to bring about change.

He said: “As part of plans to build back better, we need to work together to build a consistent recycling infrastructure that has separate collections at the very heart of it – specifically separate collections for paper and cardboard.

“This would help accelerate the UK closer to its recycling aspirations.

“Consistency around recycling collections would also make it easier to improve recycling labelling, paving the way for a system where all packaging and collection infrastructures would have standardised recycling labels that sufficiently informs the consumer about what materials can be recycled where.”