New research from DS Smith, a provider of sustainable packaging solutions, reveals that more than 79% of people across the UK are regularly “frustrated, disappointed or furious” with neighbours, partners and children because they don’t crush or fold their recycling, leading to overflowing bins.
Up to 7.8 million Brits admit to being “Folding-Phobic”, saying they don’t fold cardboard before disposing of it. 15% (up to 9 million adults) admit to not recycling at all, and instead, putting any recyclables into their waste bins.
DS Smith says the research suggests that these issues may be worsened by the UK recycling system, which has not been updated for some time and could be failing to cope with the increase in packaging in homes, particularly since the growth in e-commerce.
When asked about the barriers people face when it comes to recycling, a third (33%) of respondents cited a lack of necessary space or access to their recycling bin as a key inhibitor to effective recycling.
If people can flatten their cardboard, it helps to maximise the available space in our recycling bins.
Those living in flats and with communal bins were 25% more likely to face challenges than people with individual household recycling bins.
Michael Oyre, Managing Director, Recycling, DS Smith, commented: “With more people shopping online and more packaging coming to our homes, collection systems are sometimes struggling to cope with the increased volumes of cardboard.
“Most of us agree that we must look after resources and keep them in use for as long as possible. Cardboard is no different, as it is a renewable resource that can be easily recycled.
“If people can flatten their cardboard, it helps to maximise the available space in our recycling bins, but we also need to make sure we have the right infrastructure in place to support better recycling. By maximising the amount of cardboard packaging we recycle, we in turn protect our natural resources and contribute to the move towards a more circular economy.”