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SURVEY: Help us to recycle more, say businesses

A survey of European businesses suggests they understand the importance of recycling and waste management but need greater guidance and support to do better.  Two-thirds worry about the costs of recycling – although more than 80% believe they will be doing more in future.

The research was commissioned by the RCP EMEA which supplies cleaning and hygiene products and is part of the large Newalls group based in the US. The report, ‘The Changing Face of Commercial Recycling in Europe’ is part of RCP’s Love Recycling initiative which seeks to educate and improve recycling in the workplace. RCP says there are real opportunities for businesses to do more, provided they can get the right information, education and support from government.

Headline findings

  • 73% of respondents feel their recycling efforts are not always successful
  • Over two-thirds say poor or non-existent processes or facilities affect how much they recycle with 25% admitting this factor is very or extremely influential in holding back their efforts.
  • 90% of European businesses feel their governments need to do more to encourage commercial recycling
  • 64% worry how much the cost of recycling more could impact their bottom line
  • 82% believe recycling will become an area of greater focus in the next few years
  • 83% plan to spend more on recycling solutions in the future

Paul Jakeway, head of marketing for RCP, says more can be done to make waste management easier and more sustainable for businesses.  ‘Our research highlights a real gap in commercial recycling understanding – there is a real need for education. Commercial enterprise needs help, support and expert advice on how to deal better with its waste, how to train its frontline staff, and how to change the way recycling is perceived internally so it becomes more of an investment and less of a cost. ‘

Jakeway says this needs to go hand-in-hand with funding for better infrastructure to make it easier for commercial organisations to do the right thing.

Reinforced by a social media campaign, researchers sampled more than 800 businesses across Europe in January and February, using an online questionnaire in English, French and German.

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