The findings, which were conducted by Hyder Consulting, show that an additional 1.4 million UK adults have started to segregate their household waste this year compared to 2006. The consultancy found that recycling rates had increased for almost every waste category surveyed, including newspapers and plastic bottles.
Plastic bottles recycling has witnessed the largest increase, with 31 million adults recycling their bottles this year compared to 28 million recycling their bottles in 2006.
Other items of waste that have seen increases in the number of people recycling over the last 12 months include food waste, with 2.35 million more people now recycling, and cardboard, with an increase of 1.88 million UK adults placing this in recycling bins.
Hyder consulting head of waste management Professor Adam Read said: The issue of climate change has kept recycling in the public eye. For example, take the Live Earth show, all the guests that Graham Norton interviewed talked about recycling.
The Recycle Now campaign has also reconfirmed the message of recycling in what you do at home and work. The work that Defra [Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs] has done has made the public more aware than ever before about recycling and made it easier than before.
No figures were available for battery recycling last year but this year around 12 million people recycled their batteries.
Newspapers and waste paper still remains the most recycled item of waste in the UK with around 41 million people regularly recycling these items.
Hyder Consulting head of environmental services Chris Evans said: This report highlights the fact that a revolution has begun in UK domestic waste recycling, with most people attempting to incorporate an element of sustainability into their everyday life.
The idea of green living has been around for many years now, but it is only over the past 12 months or so that individuals have started to put these ideas into practice. However, while it is evident that people are now doing their bit for the environment there is still a lot more that we can all do.
COMMENT: This report is interesting, especially when it comes to the increase of plastic bottle collection. Is this because plastic bottle reprocessing in the UK is gradually coming on-stream and therefore markets are beginning to open up? Or is it that local authorities are squeezing as much tonnage out as possible and even the light-weight plastic bottle is contributing a bit? I'd be interested to hear your thoughts. Posted by Paul Sanderson, MRW Editor. 18 Jul 2007