Viridor has said that its new ‘recycling index’ shows consumers are unsure about what they can recycle, inconsistent policy among local authorities and a lack of transparency about what happens to waste once it is collected.
The company’s index, which highlights barriers to recycling, is based on a survey of 1,500 people in August. According to the findings:
- 64% are frustrated about knowing what they can actually recycle
- Confusion surrounds lights bulbs (42%), crisp packets (51%), coffee cups (51%), mobile phones (52%) and plastic wrapping (56%)
- 49% feel confident about using the right bins
- 43% are confused about which days to put out their bins
Councils are seen as the group most responsible for recycling (79%). Others responsible include consumers (62%), the waste management sector (50%) and the Government (50%).
Dan Cooke, director of communications and external affairs at Viridor, said: “People across the UK want to recycle more stuff and recognise the importance of doing so. But they need better systems and support to ensure the right stuff goes in the right bin every time.
“We need to explain further how waste can be transformed into new products, the smart technology used to do it, and the jobs and investment opportunities more recycling can offer the UK economy.”
Viridor calls for new and ambitious thinking from the Government and local authorities, the recycling sector, retailers and waste producers.
The survey also suggests that UK consumers want to recycle more household waste than they currently do. Responsents believe that, in five years’ time, up to 64% of household waste can be recycled – current recycling levels are around 44%.