Busting recycling myths as third think it's a waste of time

95 per cent of people put plastic bottles, tins, glass, or cardboard out for recycling each week, but more than a third are concerned their recycling ends up with the general waste anyway once taken away.

Although most of the public works hard to ensure they’re as green as possible, 25 per cent admitted they would do more if they understood the recycling messaging on products better, with 15 per cent claiming they don’t feel educated enough on recycling.

Sarah Webster, Director of Sustainable Business at Britvic, which commissioned the research ahead of Recycle Week on September 21, 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.”

In support of Recycle Week and to drive awareness around this subject, Britvic has created a video to show what happens to our plastic bottles once we’re finished with them, helping to debunk some of the myths around recycling. The video shows 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.

While many parents understand the importance of recycling, with 37 per cent of those with children teaching them early, three quarters of those polled claim they have no idea how things like branding or colouring is removed from items like tin cans or cereal boxes. One in 10 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 survey revealed that employers could also improve – with a fifth of adults saying their recycling habits are better at home than in the workplace.

Sarah 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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