20% of Brits take an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ approach to fly tipping, according to worrying new research commissioned by the UK’s most trusted electricals retailer AO.

When asked ‘how much do you care about fly-tipping if it’s not on your street’, 12% of those quizzed answered ‘if it isn’t on my street I can cope with it’, while another 8% admitted that they ‘don’t care’.

The data also suggested that attitudes against fly tipping also differ by sex, with only 38% of males being concerned about fly tipping that isn’t on their street, as opposed to 90% of females who were surveyed.

The shocking revelations come after DEFRA (the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) announced their annual fly tipping statistics. Those figures revealed that there were more than one million (1,082,673) reported fly tipping incidents in the year ending March 2023, including 50,091 cases including the illegal disposal of white goods.

The London borough of Haringey had the most reported cases of white goods being dumped (2,756), with Manchester (2,645) and Liverpool (2,176) making up rest of the top three worst offending areas.

On the other end of the scale, there were no reported incidents in Sutton, Huntingdonshire, Folkstone and Hythe, or the Isles of Scilly.

As one of the UK’s biggest recyclers of white goods, AO Recycling has donated bench planters – made from plastic recycled at their state-of-the-art facility in Telford – to the three worst areas around England, to hopefully act as a visual reminder of the good that can be done through recycling.

Robert Sant, managing director at AO Recycling, said: “It’s concerning that so many people don’t consider that their waste, including old electricals, might be fly tipped by unscrupulous operators. It’s a huge problem– not only is it ugly and dangerous to wildlife but if some white goods are not disposed of correctly, then harmful gases can be released into the atmosphere, damaging the ozone layer.

“We are on a mission to eventually make new appliances from old ones and within two years, we want to be able to make new fridges using recycled plastic from our state-of-the-art plant.

“In the meantime, we’re proud to have been able to commission these bench planters. We hope that they will motivate residents in those areas to think about the right way to recycle and end the blight of fly-tipping in UK towns.”