Gap between consumers' intention to recycle and official recycling rates needs addressing, claims study

Written by: Editorial staff | Published:

A report launched by coffee company, Nespresso, has flagged up opportunities to improve official consumer rates.

The Consumer Attitudes to Recycling Report commissioned by Nespresso and conducted by Global Web Index is reported to have found that despite 98% of Brits saying they have high intentions to recycle and 70% claiming to recycle every day, official statistics highlight a gap between intention and reality with only 44% of waste being recycled across the UK.

"In order to help consumers to meet their aspirational goals, it’s important to look at what can be done to help increase recycling rates. The report identified consumer recycling confusion, highlighting a need for better communication and simplification of the process, as two in five (39%) consumers state that they’re unaware of what can or can’t be recycled, and a third (33%) are unaware of which items have to be separated," said Francisco Nogueira, managing director, Nespresso UK and Ireland.

The research is reported to have identified a number of additional factors that is expected to help UK residents to recycle more, including more bins being provided (27%) and increased frequency of collections from home (27%).

Nogueira added: “When it comes to recycling, consumer participation is vital. Nespresso’s Consumer Attitudes to Recycling Report shows that people in the UK want to do their part - but they don’t necessarily know how. Consumers need clear and comprehensive information and accessible infrastructure to enable them to recycle more.

“This report highlights several opportunities for businesses and governments to help consumers close the gap between attitudes and actions. As this report makes clear, when it comes to recycling, we all have our part to play.

“We are working with local authorities across the UK to improve municipal collection and sorting schemes, as well as looking at ways to develop our own recycling service even further.”

In the report, local authorities were found to be the main source of recycling information for consumers (69%), with half also believing the council is most responsible for recycling (49%).

The research also revealed that not only is self-reported recycling rates said to increase with age, confidence and the likelihood of finding recycling an easy process also increases with age, as only 6% of over 55s reporting that they find recycling difficult, compared to 19% of 16-24 year olds. The recycling process within urban areas, that are more likely to be the home of the millennial generation, has been found to be perceived as more difficult, according to the report, with those living in flats (23%) stating they’re much more likely to find recycling a hard process compared to those in detached homes (7%).

The report also said 76% of respondents said that the top reason for recycling is to help the environment and over a quarter of Brits (27%) are reported to have expressed the desire to recycle more.

Earlier this month, Nespresso launched a trial in the UK to recycle used aluminium coffee capsules through Kensington and Chelsea Council’s collection service. Consumers can leave their used capsules in a Nespresso recycling bag alongside their normal waste which is collected twice weekly by the local council.

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