‘Working 9 to 5’ but Irish People are Not Recycling Enough in These Hours

Repak Recycling Week kicks off today Monday October 4th with a focus on recycling in the office. Research carried for Repak Recycling Week shows that Irish people have much better recycling habits in the home than the workplace.

The research of over 1,000 adults showed that 47% of those working do not regularly recycling in the workplace kitchen/canteen compared to only 3% who do not regularly recycle in the household kitchen. Meanwhile 62% do not regularly recycle from the office/desk and 88% do not recycling from the stationary room.

When questioned what items they regularly recycle, Plastic drinks bottles were the most recycled item in the workplace at 58% but this was far below the 87% that was reported to be recycled at home. 83% claim not to regularly recycle their used food tins in work and 55% do not recycle their used take away coffee cups. A similar pattern was evident in the differential between recycled milk containers which showed 49% recycled in work compared with 85% at home, soft drinks cans at 47% in work versus 83% at home.

Despite the low recycling rates reported by Irish workers many are admitting to bringing packaged products into the workplace with over 52% buying or bringing plastic bottled products into work and 43% buying take away coffee followed by 40% who buy pre-packaged sandwiches. All of the associated packaging on these items can and are fully recyclable.

When questioned about recycling habits at home versus the office 55% reported that they recycle more at home than in work with only 15% claiming to recycle more in the office.

“This research shows that people are not bringing their good recycling habits in the household into their workplaces. This is of concern as we face ever increasing packaging recycling targets. However more concerning for companies is they could be risking potential prosecution as it is illegal for organisations to knowingly dump recyclable packaging,” comments Dr Andrew Hetherington, chief executive of Repak. “With some simple changes in the office practice much can be done as witnessed in home recycling. More importantly companies can save on their waste charges by implementing recycling systems and also help improve the work environment for the employees.”

In order to help people recycle better in the office Repak has produced a series of recycling posters that can be put up in the workplace. The posters are available from www.recyclemore.ie.

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