Campaign launched to raise recycling awareness among consumers / BPF, ESA aim to tap into online influencers and others
Engaging with online “influencers” is to become a key element in a new campaign to raise awareness among UK consumers about the importance of recycling their plastics waste.

The partners are hoping their joint social media campaign will boost collection rates for recycling, which have been falling in the last two years (Photo: Pexels/Lara Jameson)

The British Plastics Federation (BPF, London; and the Environmental Services Association (ESA, London; have joined forces to launch the campaign around a new website, PlasticRecyclingFacts, which aims to use social media to help boost the profile of recycling.

A survey commissioned by the BPF and the ESA found that while nearly two-thirds (60%) of consumers claimed they always recycle waste plastics, nearly three-quarters (70%) also said they would recycle more plastics if they were better informed on which plastics can be recycled at home. The figures showed that with better communication the UK could improve recycling rates, the BPF and ESA said.

Related: Momentum behind collections, recycling of household plastic packaging in UK risks stalling

According to UK government data, in 2022/23 the total weight of household waste collected in England fell 6.6% to 21.3 mn t, year-on-year, while the amount of household waste sent for recycling in 2022/23 decreased to 9.2 mn t, down 8.3%.

Three main challenges face those seeking to boost plastics recycling, the campaign argued. There is a need to improve recycling rates for plastics against a backdrop of waning public confidence in recovery and stagnant reclaim rates, as well as overcoming “knee jerk” reactions by brands who substitute recyclable polymers with harder-to-recycle alternatives. There was also a “negative public discourse” on the use of plastics in packaging.

“To tackle these challenges, it is crucial to understand how to encourage individuals to actively participate in recycling efforts,” the campaign said. “Recognising the current barriers and identifying those at the forefront of driving behavioural change are vital steps towards a sustainable future.”

In a joint statement, the BPF and ESA said the campaign aimed to “spread the word about the valuable role of plastics in the circular economy, bust myths, and encourage the general public to keep plastics recycling at the top of their priorities”.
09.04.2024 [254969-0]
Published on 09.04.2024

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