People in the UK are confused about how to recycle their bathroom products correctly and want clearer instructions on what should be recycled, according to new research from NIVEA.
In the survey, commissioned by NIVEA for Recycle Week 2023 (16–22 October), 33% said confusion about what can and can’t be recycled is stopping them from recycling their bathroom products more frequently and accurately.
48.97% of respondents said they always recycle their bathroom products, while 27.7% said they do often and 14.95% said they do sometimes. 65% of people over 55 said they always recycle their bathroom products, compared to 41% of those aged between 35 and 54 and 33% of those aged 18 to 34.
According to the research, 22% of respondents said they were “afraid” of putting the wrong products in the recycling bin and 39% said clearer instructions on packaging would encourage them to recycle their bathroom waste more.
Survey respondents cited a lack of knowledge (28%) and confusion (33%) about what can and can’t be recycled as key barriers to recycling. Only 35% of respondents knew what the “widely recycled” symbol meant, while 26% had never seen it before.
The survey shows that there is real confusion about how to correctly recycle bathroom waste.
34% of consumers surveyed want greater confidence that their used bathroom products are actually getting recycled.
The research found that younger generations are less likely to make the effort to recycle their bathroom products properly. 29% of Gen Z respondents said that when they recycle, they make a “huge effort” to ensure they’re putting the right products in the right bins compared to 38% of Millennials and 41% of Gen X.
However, 25% of Gen Z respondents said they don’t have a separate recycling bin in their bathroom but said they would like one.
Commenting on the survey, Alison Sammons, Brand Communications Manager at NIVEA, said: “While it’s clear that Brits are giving recycling their best shot, the survey shows that there is real confusion about how to correctly recycle bathroom waste. Many people are also worried about making mistakes when they’re recycling and the risk of putting products in the wrong bin.
“To help cut through this confusion, companies like NIVEA have a responsibility to educate and empower people to improve their bathroom recycling habits.
“This includes providing clear instructions and labelling on packaging to give consumers greater confidence that they’re recycling the correct products. That’s why NIVEA uses On-Pack Recycling Labels (OPRL), which provide straightforward instructions for consumers on what can and can’t be recycled, across our entire range.”