From Re-cycling to Waste Prevention …

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Keep Britain Tidy
Keep Britain Tidy

SHIFTING THE PUBLIC’S FOCUS FROM RECYCLING TO WASTE PREVENTION: HOW DO WE MOVE PEOPLE UP THE WASTE HIERARCHY? 

Keep Britain Tidy is an environmental charity that aims to eradicate litter and reduce waste, improve the quality of local places, and help people live more sustainably. While best known for our work around litter, we have a long history of engaging with the public around recycling more and preventing waste.

In our experience, people default to recycling rather than waste prevention and appear to lack understanding of what waste prevention (reduce and reuse) actually means. This is in direct contrast with the waste hierarchy (more commonly communicated to consumers as ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’) which tells us that recycling is only the third best option when looking to reduce the environmental impact of what we purchase, use and dispose of. In order to bring natural resource use and carbon emissions down to environmentally sustainable levels, we need people to buy less stuff and maximise the life of stuff that already exists: we urgently need the widespread adoption of waste prevention behaviours. 

We explored this issue through a programme of empirical research in order to better understand how to move people up the waste hierarchy from recycling to waste prevention.

Read more at https://www.keepbritaintidy.org/recycling-waste-prevention