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Householders ignorant of where recyclables go

Some 77% of English residents do not know where their recyclables go after they have been collected, a survey has found.

Only 12% of the 1,771 adults interviewed on behalf of the Resource Association (RA) in June knew exactly where their materials went for recycling and what happened to them.

RA chief executive Ray Georgeson said the research showed that better information about what happens to recycling and its end destination was a key motivator for people to recycle.

Some 44% of respondents said better information would make them more or much more likely to recycle, with this rising to 57% for 18 to 24-year-olds.

Georgeson said: “Better information and transparency is a low-cost intervention that has the potential to uplift recycling rates significantly by being more directly informative about what actually happens and where it goes. It reduces 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 the 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.”

The interviews were conducted by market research agency ICM Unlimited in June as part of a wider survey commissioned by WRAP, with additional questions commissioned by the RA.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Question 100 in the Waste Data Flow report that councils submit covers end destination . Many councils left it blank previously but it's now mandatory. Challenging because councils know the first destination but will need to probe to identify the final destination

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