More than 80% of consumers are unaware that low-energy light bulbs must be recycled, according to new research.
Commissioned by the Lighting Industry Federation in partnership with compliance scheme Recolight, results showed that only 18% of consumers were aware that compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) have to be recycled through specialised recycling facilities. The remaining 82% said they would throw them away in normal household waste when they reached their end of life.
Recolight chief executive Nigel Harvey said: “In the next three to five years, we expect larger quantities of CFLs to start reaching end of life. It is essential that we raise awareness now of the importance of recycling these lamps so that they don’t end up in landfill.
“There is still a lot of work to be done to ensure that these light bulbs are recycled properly and not thrown away with everyday household waste.”
CFLs contain a small amount of mercury, which is not harmful in small quantities. But if large quantities of CFLs are left to go to landfill, they could damage the environment. There are currently 133 million CFLs in use in homes across the UK.
The survey also revealed that 78% of homes have at least one operating CFL in place, while 29% no longer have any old-style incandescent lamps at all.