Veolia is calling the industry to action after new research conducted by YouGov revealed that a third of consumers find recycling confusing.
The market research company found that that only 8% of Brits strongly believe that recycling labelling on products is clear and that only 12% of them trust this recycling labelling on products.
According to Veolia, public confusion and distrust of recycling labelling leads to lower rates.
Through its survey, YouGov uncovered a huge disparity between recycling habits when at home, in the office and out, with nearly half of the public finding information on this unclear when out.
Its research showed that people are nearly 50% more likely to always recycle at home compared to when out and almost twice as likely to always recycle at home than at work.
The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) aims to respond to labelling issues with its Resources and Waste strategy to make recycling labels clearer to consumers which in turn will increase recycling habits.
Veolia aims to “inject fresh perspective into these recycling situations to revolutionise the UK’s waste disposal tendencies, meet DEFRA’s July 2020 targets and regenerate the environment.”
“How can we expect people to recycle if they don’t trust the information presented to them?” said Richard Kirkman, chief technology and innovation officer of Veolia UK and Ireland.
Kirkman added: “The nation is ready: people are on-board with recycling. To reach our targets, the UK needs standardisation in the initial stage of the chain. There is an answer: binary labelling which clearly states if it can or can’t be recycled. This paired with signage and the consistency in guidelines to accommodate all locations is fundamental to help people separate their products correctly.”
Jane Bevis, chair of On Pack Recycling Label, said: “We’ve redesigned our labels to give a simple ‘Recycle’ or ‘Don’t Recycle’ message, summarising the evidence on what councils collect, what MRFs can sort, what gets re-processed and what gets turned into new packaging or products. It’s time for a single mandatory labelling system that consumers know they can rely on.”
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