Barriers to recycling at home

The Recycle Now programme commissioned research to explore people’s barriers to recycling at home. The objective of the research was to generate a more rigorous and in-depth understanding of what prevents householders from recycling. The research has led to some important fresh thinking about how different population groups might be engaged more effectively by recycling behaviour change programmes especially at a more local level.

WRAP has completed a review of research evidence to update and improve the evidence on barriers to recycling produced in 2008. The aim of the new work is to identify the extent to which the barriers to recycling have changed since WRAP’s 2008 research and to synthesise current knowledge of the principal barriers and the implications for overcoming them. The findings are supported by WRAP’s annual survey of householders reported recycling behaviours and motivations.

Since 2008 the recycling environment has developed rapidly in the UK. Recycling rates have improved, the kerbside recycling infrastructure and reprocessing technologies have evolved, the quality of recyclate is becoming more important, and the UK’s socio-demographic environment is changing. In the light of these changes some barriers have remained the same while in some areas there are new challenges to overcome.

3Rs Tracking survey 2015: Recycling attitudes and behaviour

The 3Rs survey has been a staple of WRAP’s research portfolio for nearly a decade, initially focusing on recycling (the Recycle Now survey), and expanding in recent years to also cover re-use and repair (the 3Rs). 

This report presents key highlights from the recycling section of the 2015 3Rs survey that have implications for recycling practices and communications. It looks at claimed recycling behaviour, knowledge and attitudes of householders, for the first time it also focuses on food waste collection services.