Research from London Recycles reveals Lambeth’s passion for tackling plastic waste

London Recycles finds Lambeth residents are committed to recycling plastic but lack understanding of the simple steps they can take at home

  • 82% of Lambeth residents are committed to reducing plastic waste and are more aware of issues around single use plastic than this time last year
  • Yet 37% are either wrong or unsure about what they can recycle at home
  • London Recycles highlights the significant difference Lambeth could make by getting better at recycling plastic at home

Following increased public awareness on the environmental impacts of plastic, prompted in part by the BBC’s Blue Planet documentary, a new survey from London Recycles shows that an overwhelming majority (82%) of Lambeth homes are committed to reducing their plastic waste.

However, the same research reveals a lack of understanding about what plastic items can be recycled at home, meaning the borough’s residents are missing out on simple ways to make a huge difference.

When it comes to putting their passion for plastic reduction into practice, Lambeth is doing well: just over half (56%) are carrying keep cups and re-usable water bottles to reduce plastic waste. In addition, 80% say their knowledge of which single-use plastic items to avoid when out and about is good, very good or excellent.

But we don’t do so well when it comes to the basics around recycling at home. Although 82% say their knowledge of which plastic items can be recycled at home is good, very good or excellent, many were in fact unsure or simply mistaken:

  • Over a third (36%) aren’t sure, or think spray cleaner bottles can’t be recycled, when in fact they can be
  • Under a third aren’t sure, or think clear plastic trays (28%) and plastic shampoo bottles (32%) can’t be recycled, when they can be
  • 40% mistakenly think that toothpaste tubes can be recycled – but they can’t!

To help Lambeth recycle more plastic, London Recycles is today launching a new digital campaign called #knowyourplastic. It will feature short, quirky videos on social media supported by detailed information on www.recycleforlondon.com/know-your-plastic, to let people know how to recycle a wide range of common plastic items at home.

Ali Moore, campaign manager at London Recycles, said:

“It’s fantastic to see Lambeth’s commitment to reducing plastic waste, but many are missing out on simple, free steps that can be taken at home. We’re encouraging everyone in Lambeth to have a look at our #knowyourplastic campaign to get super-confident about what plastics can and can’t be recycled. With 24% of Lambeth residents having checked which plastic items they can recycle at home, it’s clear that we could definitely do more to recycle plastics and keep them out of the environment.”

There is a significant gap between Lambeth’s concern for plastics on the go and at home – both in their own behaviour and how they encourage others to act:

  • 24% had advised a friend to recycle more plastic items at home or helped explain which plastics can be recycled
  • This is less than the 34% who have advised a friend or colleague to buy a keep-cup or water bottle to reduce plastics waste
  • While 74% have made changes to their plastic recycling behaviours at home, less than a quarter (24%) had checked with their council to confirm which plastic items can be recycled

For further details on what plastics can be recycled in your borough, visit: https://www.recycleforlondon.com/know-your-plastic

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