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Why are people more likely to recycle at home than at work?

We are told all the time that recycling is essential for preserving our environment, and it is, but shockingly many of the 99 per cent of people who recycle at home do not bother at work.

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Should recycling efforts focus on the workplace?

Statistics show that recycling efforts are not reaching the standards required. If 99 per cent of people are recycling at home, the main problem lies within places of work.

In the study conducted by Anglian Home Improvements, 2,000 people were questioned. Older people were found to be the worst culprits, with one-fifth of people aged 55-64 not recycling at work; in contrast, the younger generations were the biggest recyclers. Amongst 25- to 34-year-olds, just six per cent did not bother to recycle in the workplace.

The north also has some problems separating paper from plastics. Newcastle had the largest number of employees who do not recycle (29 per cent), followed by Sheffield (27 per cent), Glasgow (17 per cent) and Manchester (16 per cent).

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Why is it happening?

Many companies are encouraging people to recycle their old window and doors as part of an initiative to improve environmental awareness. In Dublin windows and doors are regularly recycled due to the advice of companies such as http://www.keanewindows.ie/. Shockingly, only 30 per cent of people knew that windows could be recycled.

Many employees knew that items such as paper can be recycled but did not know that chocolate wrappers and crisp packets cannot. Furthermore, only 51 per cent of people knew that paper is only recyclable up to a maximum of six times.

A spokesperson noted that it was positive that 99 per cent of people actively recycle at home; however, employers need to address the problems in the workplace. One reason for this issue may be that employers are not encouraging their staff to recycle or making it easy to do so.

The study raises awareness of which items are recyclable and gives employers the chance to see where they are going wrong and take steps to turn their workplace into an environmentally-friendly establishment. It also highlights that people are not aware of the number of things they can recycle, including their windows. In the coming years, recycling in the workplace will hopefully become common practice.