People far less likely to recycle at work than at home

A whopping 99 per cent of Brits actively recycle at home, but research reveals that their efforts go out of the window once they arrive in the workplace. Is this where we need to focus our recycling efforts?

A whopping 99 per cent of Brits actively recycle at home, but research reveals that their efforts go out of the window once they arrive in the workplace; this is particularly the case when it comes to older employees.

The survey of 2,000 people, conducted by Anglian Home Improvements, reveals that Brits are 15 times more likely to avoid recycling in the workplace than they are in their own homes. While only 1 per cent of Brits don’t do recycling at home, that rises to 15 per cent when it comes to recycling in the workplace.

The worst culprits for workplace recycling were older employees. Of those aged 55-64, more than one-fifth aren’t recycling at work (22 per cent). The greenest employees were 25-34-year-olds, with only 6 per cent not making the effort to recycle in the workplace.

The North let the side down a little, with almost one-third of workers in Newcastle (29 per cent) confessing to not recycling in their workplace, followed by Sheffield (27 per cent), Glasgow (17 per cent) and Manchester (16 per cent).

Anglian surveyed people about their recycling knowledge to highlight the company’s recycling initiative, which encourages people to recycle their old windows, doors and conservatories. The poll revealed that more than two-thirds (70 per cent) of us are currently unaware that you can recycle windows.

There are other knowledge gaps too. Although 67 per cent of people know you can recycle office materials such as cardboard, they are less clued up when it comes to office snacks. More than a quarter (26 per cent) think you can recycle chocolate wrappers and 22 per cent think you can recycle crisp packets, which is, unfortunately, not the case.

And when it comes to the most basic office necessities, paper, 49 per cent didn’t realise that if you recycle paper more than five to seven times it can lose its quality.

Matt Carey, a spokesperson for Anglian Home Improvements, says, ‘It’s great to see that 99 per cent of us are actively trying to recycle, but worrying that so many of us haven’t yet extended this passion into our workplaces. It could be that employees are less motivated to support recycling at work, or perhaps that employers could do more to make recycling easier for their staff.

‘We hope that this research will raise awareness of the items that should and shouldn’t make it into your recycling bin, and encourage employers to think more about recycling in the workplace.’

Further reading on how to recycle

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the and titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the

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