Wed. Jun 26th, 2024

Survey reveals Kingston students’ recycling confusion

By Hermione Marszalek Mar 27, 2024
A recycling bin overflowing with rubbishThe average person produces 413kg of waste per year. Credit: Leica Camera/Unsplash

A survey asking Kingston students about their recycling habits revealed that just under 30% of students visit a recycling point to dispose of rubbish that can’t be recycled at home but just under 70% do not know where their local recycling point is.

The sign “don’t recycle at home” can easily be overlooked, and is often found on plastic bags containing bread, crisp packets and chocolate wrappers.

Some students said they do not visit a recycling point because they do not have the time, or it is too much of a hassle, especially for those without cars. You can find out where your nearest recycling point is on London’s recycling campaign, London Recycles.

While thorough recycling might be a low priority for busy and stressed out students, recycling in the UK saves around 18 million tonnes of CO2 a year; the equivalent of taking five million cars off the road, according to the campaign.

When asked whether students think recycling is important or not, one student said: “We as a species are consuming just an insane amount all the time. Hardly anything is set up to let us minimise the amount of plastic we buy. The supermarkets still package nearly everything in plastic … It’s just depressing to think about how much plastic we buy and throw out every day.

“I try and recycle as much as I am able with the mindset that that’s one bottle that might get reused before it scourges the Earth in a landfill somewhere. I could be doing more though and I wish, systematically, it was easier to do more.”

The survey also found that 17% of students said that they sometimes put rubbish in their recycling bins. While it might be tempting to put rubbish in your recycling bin that seems like it could be recycled, this can actually cause more problems. Materials like foil wrappers, plastic bags and paper-based tubs cannot be recycled at home because they require a different recycling process.

For a comprehensive guide on what you can and cannot recycle, visit London Recycles website.

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