Have you been recycle-shamed?

There was an interesting survey to emerge from the Metal Packaging Manufacturers Association (MPMA) recently, where nearly half of UK parents were said to be shamed by their children for poor recycling practices. Are you one of them?

A poll of 2,000 mums and dads of school-aged children, conducted by the Metal Packaging Manufacturers Association (MPMA), found that 41% of parents believe it is really their children who drive recycling and sustainability attitudes at home, thanks to the popularity of teenage environmental campaigner Greta Thunberg.

MPMA found that 43% of parents have faced a telling off from their offspring for not making more effort with the recycling – an average of three times a week. Of those, 56% have been reprimanded for throwing something like a can in the bin instead of recycling it, while four in 10 have had words for buying items in non-recyclable packaging.

Almost half of those polled, via OnePoll, even admitted they sometimes throw recyclable items out with the rubbish because it is easier than trying to work out whether it can be recycled. Reportedly, 46% have binned a can because they couldn’t be bothered to wash it out, even though four in 10 are aware that this isn’t essential to the recycling process.

This study in interesting for two reasons; it shows how the importance of recycling and sustainability is here to stay, and that for the older generations there is much work to be done. Across LinkedIn and other social media channels I’ve read various reports calling into question consumer’s emphasis on recycling best practices post-pandemic. However, studies such as these show how environmental issues will be central for young people moving forward.

The study also shows how making recycling straightforward for people of all ages is crucial. With one in five of those adults studied throwing something out because they don’t know whether it should be recycled or not suggests there needs to be a clearer message.

You can read the study in detail here.

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