ONE third of Brits think the recycling they put out each week ends up in landfill, research has revealed.
A survey of 2,000 adults shows how seriously the environment is taken, with 95 per cent putting plastic bottles, tins, glass, or cardboard out for recycling each week.
But while the public does its bit, 36 per cent fear their hard work may be pointless and that their recycling ends up with the general waste anyway once taken away.
It also emerged that 25 per cent would do more if they understood the recycling messaging on products better.
Sarah Webster, director of sustainable business at Britvic, which commissioned the research ahead of Recycle Week on 21st September 2020, said: “Packaging is part of our everyday life and often necessary to minimise food waste, but with differing materials, recycling labels and collection rules across councils around the UK, it’s understandable that people are confused.
“However, recycling as much as we can is vital, both at home and when out and about – even the smallest things make a huge difference.
“We’re pleased that, Biffa, one of the UK’s leading waste management companies, has confirmed that in the UK, household recycling is largely recovered and recycled thanks to the efforts of the public, key workers and local council services.
“We hope, together, we can help everyone understand more about the process and help them recycle with confidence.”
Britvic has created a video to show what happens to our plastic bottles once they have been used, to help debunk some of the myths around recycling.
It explains how a plastic bottle makes its journey from disposal to becoming something new – from being thrown in the bin, to being collected, sorted, cleaned, crushed, moulded and re-sized, all the way to reaching the production line once more in its new form.
It comes after one in 10 of those polled think plastics that make it to recycling plants are pressed together to make something else, instead of the correct process of cleaning, shredding, melting and finally being made into pellets for reuse.
The research also revealed 17 per cent admitted they don’t recycle as much as they should do when they are out and about.
And 15 per cent don't feel educated on recycling, with three quarters having no idea how things like branding or colouring is removed from items such as tin cans or cereal boxes.
But 13 per cent of those polled via OnePoll, feel if they knew more about the recycling process, they’d do it more.
It also emerged that 37 per cent of those with children are teaching them about the importance of recycling, to get them into the habit when they’re young.
The survey showed employers could also improve – with a fifth of adults saying their recycling habits are better at home than in the workplace.
Sarah Webster added: “The survey results showed people would be more willing to help with recycling, if they knew more about it.
“We are committed to effective recycling as part of our sustainability programme – that’s why we wanted to be a donor for this year’s Recycle Week, as the theme, which is to thank the nation for continuing to recycle despite everything we have been through, resonated well with our own values and the wider aim of protecting the planet.”
Craig Stephens, from Recycle Now, which organises Recycle Week added: “We believe if we can all do our bit, the impact on the environment will be huge.
“This year has been incredibly challenging for everyone in so many different ways, yet the vast majority have continued to recycle really well.
“If you are unsure about how and where to recycle, the Recycle Now website has lots of helpful information. You can also use the Recycling Locator, where you can type in your postcode and find out how to recycle different items in your area.”
You can find out more about Recycle Week, and how to recycle, at https://www.recyclenow.com/
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