Recycle Now reveals new household recycling 'hotspots'


Research undertaken by WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) to mark the celebration of Recycle Week (2- 6 June) in the UK, has highlighted a series of ‘hotspots’ in the home, of ‘forgotten’ items of recyclable household waste.

Whilst nearly two-thirds (62%) of consumers said that they always remembered to recycle items from their kitchen, this falls dramatically to around one-third for waste in other areas of the home - such as the bathroom (36%) and bedroom (34%).

From the Recycle Week survey, the top five items which people say they don’t recycle are -

  1. aerosol containers for deodorant, air freshener, polish, etc (62%)
  2. biscuit and sweet tins (53%)
  3. plastic shampoo and toiletry bottles (32%)
  4. plastic bottles of cleaning products - e.g. bleach, cleaner or disinfectants (31%)
  5. glass jars, such as those for cooking sauces (20%).

The research also showed that 59% of people focused on recycling cans, plastic drinks bottles, glass bottles, paper and card. Over a quarter (26%) were unaware that items such as aerosols, plastic detergent bottles, magazines and biscuit and sweet tins could often be recycled.

This year, Recycle Week was about highlighting the extra things we can easily do to recycle more and increase the impact of our recycling efforts. According to Recycle Now, recycling ‘one more thing’ could have a significant impact on increasing household recycling rates and help tackle climate change. If every household in England recycled one additional item from a range of common household products - such as aluminium drinks cans, steel food cans, glass cooking sauce jars, plastic milk bottles and glossy magazines every week for one year - the total amount collected for recycling could increase by more than three-quarters of a million tonnes and could, potentially, raise the national household recycling rate by up to 3%.

Recycling ‘one more thing’ would also help to tackle climate change by saving nearly 850,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent - the same as taking over a quarter of a million cars off the road each year, or saving the amount of energy required to power 4 million 32" plasma televisions for a year.

Fridey Cordingley, head of Recycle Now, said - “Sometimes we don’t realise how much of our household waste can be easily recycled - or, we think that recycling one more thing won’t make a real difference. Recycle Week aims to inspire us all to try and recycle a bit more and highlight that there is a real benefit in doing so.

“If everyone in England recycled one more plastic shampoo bottle, the energy saved would be enough for 46,000 households to watch a 32” plasma TV six hours a day for a whole year."