18 to 24 year olds are the least likely to recycle common household products such as cans, bottles, plastics and paper, according to a recent report by online electricals retailer AO. Although Generation Z are often viewed as leaders pushing for global environmental change, research suggests they are also the worst at putting their household waste in the recycling.
The White Lies Report, commissioned by AO, explores attitudes towards responsible recycling, including common household goods. Based on a survey of over 4,200 people across the UK, the report reveals that 18-24 year olds were least likely to recycle in 13 of the 15 categories of household waste considered, whereas over 55s recycled the most in 11 of the 15 categories.
The research, undertaken by YouGov, shows that we are all generally poor across the board at recycling different household waste. The categories include plastic containers where the average number of 18-24 year olds claiming to recycle is only 66% but this rises to 87% for 55s plus. 94% of people aged 55 and over say they recycle paper which falls to 76% for Gen Z. Even with mobile phones, the numbers of 18-24 year olds claiming to recycle is only 26% which increases to 38% for over 55s.
Despite young people being the most vocal about the climate crisis, the research suggests that the older generation are the most proactive when it comes to recycling. The White Lies Report also highlights the importance of education as not enough people know how to recycle domestic goods responsibly.
With fly tipping and the irresponsible disposal of domestic goods on the rise, AO has launched a Collect and Recycle proposition, where both AO customers and the general public can book a collection date and time slot to have their appliance taken away to be responsibly recycled.
Rob Sant, MD of AO Recycling said: “Our report shows that a huge number of people either aren’t motivated enough to recycle, or they don’t understand how to recycle common household waste properly, which is why I feel it is the responsibility of retailers and manufacturers to make it as easy as possible for people to recycle these items.”
“We’re giving people the option of having their old appliances collected from their doorstep, which saves both a trip to the tip and the headache of having to dispose of an appliance yourself.”
Which, if any, of the following items do you ever recycle in your household?
|Bottles (i.e. plastic or glass)||90%||76%||83%||91%||93%||94%|
|Glass (excluding bottles)||72%||61%||68%||75%||76%||73%|
|Newspapers / Paper||88%||76%||80%||87%||91%||94%|
|Small beauty electrical items (e.g. hair dryers, straighteners etc.)||27%||12%||19%||24%||30%||35%|
|Small domestic electricals (e.g. toaster, kettle, iron, blenders etc.)||41%||18%||27%||36%||46%||53%|
|Kitchen utensils (e.g. pots, pans etc.)||31%||19%||18%||25%||35%||40%|
|Electrical toothbrushes and razors||17%||12%||10%||14%||18%||22%|