More than half of UK consumers have never used their local shopping centre’s recycling facilities, according to a research report from leading drinks can recycling programme, Every Can Counts.
These results, taken from a survey of customers at two shopping centres with a combined footfall of 38 million, also reported that while consumers are in two minds about recycling when shopping, over 90% recycle regularly at home, and 72% claim to frequently recycle outside of the home.
Asked how facilities could be improved at shopping centres to encourage recycling, the majority (57%) wanted ‘more recycling bins, in convenient locations’. Other suggestions included better promotion of facilities and more information about the benefits of recycling.
The findings form part of a two-phased research report into the recycling attitudes and practices at shopping centres and the efforts being made to cut waste. The research comes at a time when waste regulations require businesses to separate recyclable material from other waste, following the introduction of the Waste (Scotland) Regulations in 2014 and, more recently, the new Waste (England and Wales) Regulations as of 1 January 2015.
Rick Hindley, Executive Director of Every Can Counts, commented: “These figures show that there is a lot more to be done to communicate the importance of recycling when consumers are out shopping, and to make it as easy as possible for consumers to recycle. This is especially important when you consider that one in every three drinks cans sold in the UK is drunk outside the home.”
Mr Hindley, continued: “In ‘phase one’ of our research we gained insight from environmental and waste management professionals operating in shopping centres across the country. Now that ‘phase two’ of the research is complete, we have a 360˚ view of how recycling programmes are delivered and received. These findings confirm to us the importance of taking a ‘joined up’ approach to away from home recycling: it’s not enough to create recycling points, they need to be actively promoted to help develop a recycling ‘habit’ among people who are on the go.”
“Every Can Counts is focused on working in partnership with the retail sector and waste management providers to improve access to recycling points, and communicate the benefits of recycling so that schemes work for everybody.”
Launched in 2009, Every Can Counts is a partnership between drinks can manufacturers, leading brands and the recycling industry, focusing on increasing the number of drinks cans recycled in workplaces or by people when they are ’on the go’. The programme now has 1,729 member businesses, and has installed more than 10,000 can recycling points nationwide.
To find out more information, and to access both reports in full, or to learn how Every Can Counts could help you and your business to meet new UK waste regulations which require businesses to separate recyclable material (paper, plastic, metal and glass) from other waste from 1 January 2015, please visit www.everycancounts.co.uk or call 01527 597757.
The beverage can industry’s recycling initiative implemented ‘phase one’ in 2014 to learn more about recycling attitudes and practices at shopping centres, which showed that there has been significant improvements in facilities and employee efforts in recent years to recycle, especially for retail tenants recycling business waste.