Recycling habits better at home than in the workplace

NEW research shows that Irish people have much better recycling habits at home than in the workplace.

Released at the launch of Repak Recycling Week, the survey of more than 1,000 workers shows 55% reported that they recycle more at home than in work, with only 15% claiming to recycle more in the office.

Of those questioned, 47% do not regularly recycle in the workplace canteen, compared with only 3% who do not regularly recycle in the household kitchen.

Even more, 62%, do not regularly recycle from the office and 88% do not recycle from their work stationery room.

Plastic drinks bottles were the most recycled item in the workplace at 58% but this was far below the 87% that was reported to be recycled at home.

While 83% claim not to regularly recycle their used food tins in work, 55% don’t recycle their used takeaway coffee cups.

Repak chief executive Andrew Hetherington said: “This research shows that people are not bringing their good recycling habits in the household into their workplaces.

“This is of concern as we face ever increasing packaging recycling targets. However, more concerning for companies is they could be risking potential prosecution as it is illegal for organisations to knowingly dump recyclable packaging.”

He added: “With some simple changes in the office practice much can be done, as witnessed in home recycling. More importantly, companies can save on their waste charges by implementing recycling systems and also help improve the work environment for the employees.”

In addition to the high recycling habits at home, 40% of people reported to have brown bins for recycling food waste, versus 88% who have recyclable bins.

Fruit and vegetable peelings recycling scored highest at 90%, followed by cooked food at 70%, uncooked food at 74% and grass cuttings at 69%.

Recycling from household recyclable bins now equates to the same rate of recycling as from Bring Banks, showing that recycling of plastic, aluminium and cardboard has caught up with the historically high rate of glass recycling.

This year marks the 10th Recycling Week promoted by Repak, a not-for-profit producer responsibility scheme funded by packaging levies charged to participating companies.

Since 1997 Repak has invested €200 million in supporting packaging recycling in Ireland and estimates to have diverted over five million tonnes of packaging from landfill.


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