60% of adults are unsure how to recycle, report suggests

60% of adults are unsure how to recycle certain plastics, according to a report published today (February 26) by plastic supplier Hi-cone. 

Around 300 million tonnes of plastic waste is produced every single year, this is equivalent to the weight of the entire human population.

Hi-Cone has published their first annual report: ‘The State of Plastic Recycling,’ to help tackle the issue of plastic waste by further understanding consumer attitudes towards recycling.

YouGov conducted a survey for the report on over 5,000 people in Mexico, Spain, the UK and the US.

According to the survey, 75% of adults regularly recycle in their homes, but 69% agreed that they were not doing enough.

However, the survey revealed that there is a lot of confusion when it comes to recycling, with 60% of all those involved admitting that they don’t know how to recycle some types of plastic and 56% agreeing that they often find it different to understand what to do.

In order to tackle the plastic problem, there is a call to transition to a more circular economy, however, in the UK, there are over 39 different sets of rules on what waste local authorities collect, therefore, the authors of the report argue that there needs to be more consistency when it comes to recycling infrastructure and more education and clarity on what can and cannot be recycled.

The researchers argue that governments must lead the way on this by setting standards to meet the demands of consumers who, for a long time have been calling for change.

Sustainability director of HI-Cone, Jennifer Parr said: ‘The waste crisis is an issue of both packaging design and a lack of recycling culture and infrastructure.

‘With the help of this report, we can take a look at where the industry can better support consumers with education and resources, and start to collaborate with local governments and private recycling partners to improve the recycling system.

‘By working together with consumers and recycling organisations, the industry will be better able to make progress towards creating a circular economy.’

Photo Credit – Pixabay

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Pippa Neill

Pippa Neill

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