Pandemic sparks urgency for recycling across Europe

Photo courtesy of Every Can Counts

A vast majority of Europeans have said it is more important than ever to take care of our environment and recycle after Covid-19, while 91% said they would like to do more, according to a survey performed in fourteen European countries by the LUCID polling agency in association with the Every Can Counts initiative (that aims to raise awareness about the advantages of recycling aluminium drink cans).

Many of those surveyed proclaimed the world would be different after the coronavirus pandemic, and the results of this poll are a sign that is coming true with a growing urgency about caring for the planet.

“The findings show there is a growing awareness about the need to recycle as much waste as possible, and the Covid-19 pandemic only accelerated that process. People realise how pressing this problem is and are willing to work towards establishing a true circular economy,” said Every Can Counts Europe director, David Van Heuverswyn.

Moreover, a total of 52% of respondents reportedly would not put the economy over the environment, despite the economic slowdown in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Two out of three said recycling is an obligation for all and that there is an urgent need to tackle the problem. More than three quarters of respondents always or often recycle all types of materials while 76% of people often or always recycle their aluminium drink cans – the most recycled beverage packaging globally.

Since 2009, Every Can Counts has worked to increase awareness about recycling aluminium drink cans with the vision of recycling 100% of the cans consumed in Europe. In 2017, the drink can recycling rate stood at 74.5%, but the poll showed that 90% of respondents believe their country should recycle more if not all drink cans, and a full 4 out of 10 would like to see 100% of them getting recycled.

The survey polled a sample size of 13,793 people older than 16 balanced for age and gender in 14 countries where Every Can Counts has a local initiative (Belgium, Serbia, Austria, Hungary, Greece, Romania, Poland, Czech Republic, Ireland, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, France) from 5 August 5 to 14 September 2020.

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